Sun | May 29, 2022

Airbnb bookings up for Reggae Sumfest

Published:Thursday | May 12, 2022 | 12:06 AMAlbert Ferguson/Gleaner Writer
Visitors to the island enjoy a cup of vibes courtesy of Jamaica Mountain Peak, at Reggae Sumfest’s Mawnin Medz, held recently at Tropical Bliss Beach in Montego Bay.
Visitors to the island enjoy a cup of vibes courtesy of Jamaica Mountain Peak, at Reggae Sumfest’s Mawnin Medz, held recently at Tropical Bliss Beach in Montego Bay.
From left: Jasmine, Juju and  Jaden at Reggae Sumfest street dance in Montego Bay, St James in 2019.
From left: Jasmine, Juju and Jaden at Reggae Sumfest street dance in Montego Bay, St James in 2019.
Reggae Sumfest street dance in Montego Bay.
Reggae Sumfest street dance in Montego Bay.
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WESTERN BUREAU:

Airbnb stakeholders who operate through the Jamaica Home Sharing Association (JHSA) say they are ready to cash in on the live, in-person return of Reggae Sumfest to Montego Bay in July.

Following a two-year, pandemic-induced hiatus, the music festival returns with four nights of scintillating entertainment from July 20-23, and will feature a host of big names in the business, starring female dancehall prodigy Shenseea.

Already, while not providing any figures, the country ‘s Airbnb sector is reporting a steady level of bookings ahead of the summer event.

“For summer, we are seeing major growth and high occupancy levels. And for Reggae Sumfest, many Airbnbs in Montego Bay and surrounding areas are already booked, and hosts are maintaining destination assurance as well,” said Sherie-Ann Anderson, president of JHSA.

She said the Airbnb sector is growing, now reaching over 5,000, and they are strategically located across the island.

She added that the sector has always benefited from Sumfest and other similar events in Jamaica.

“Reggae Sumfest is an authentic Jamaican experience; some tourists expand on that by booking an authentic stay in an Airbnb property,” she added.

ENTERTAINMENT

Anderson shared that with the full reopening of the tourism and entertainment sectors, Airbnb hosts remain vigilant and are continuing to maintain their enhanced cleaning protocol.

Over in Negril, Westmoreland, stakeholders in the tourism sector are preparing to embrace the surge that will come with the music festival.

“In the past, we have had people staying here and driving over. We also benefited from people who come for Sumfest, spending a few days in Montego Bay and then coming down to Negril, before leaving for home,” Richard Wallace, president of the Negril Chamber of Commerce, told The Gleaner.

“We are looking forward to that little bump that comes with Sumfest,” he informed. “I don’t know how large it will be this year, but based on what we are seeing, it will be a welcoming experience.”

albert.ferguson@gleanerjm.com