Jamaica Not Doing Enough – Grammy Museum Director Says Country Should Invest More In Culture Tourism

Jamaica Not Doing Enough – Grammy Museum Director Says Country Should Invest More In Culture Tourism

Director of the Grammy Museum, Bob Santelli says Jamaica should make more investments in cultural tourism.

In an interview with The Gleaner following a brief presentation at the Bob Marley Museum on Old Hope Road last Friday, the former journalist said Jamaica is armed with one of the most powerful products, but pointed out that there was not enough being done to market that product effectively.

“Although you have great beaches, when people hear of Jamaica, the first thing that comes to mind is not the beaches, it’s Bob Marley andreggae music,” he said.

“Jamaica has such a rich music culture and this country needs to promote that more. You have such a wealth of music tradition and you are not promoting it enough,” he said.

More visitors

He used the Bob Marley Museum as an example.

“The museum is a perfect example of how to attract, not just tourists, but people who want to better understand how reggae has come about and what it means to the Jamaican people.”

He explained his point by comparing reggae music to the state of Mississippi in the United States.

“If you take the state of Mississippi out of America, we would have no American music because so many great music forms came out of Mississippi, so what they are doing now is promoting cultural tourism.”

He also explained that as a result of that move, more persons are visiting a state not known for tourism.

Santelli believes that the same can happen in Jamaica.

“It is incredible what you have and most of it started with Bob Marley.”

General manager of the Bob Marley Museum, Marie Bruce agreed.

Having had the Bob Marley Museum being named the first official affiliate of the Grammy Museum, Bruce believes the partnership will open the doors to tourism development even further.

“This will definitely bump up the value of the experience for the tourists and will put us on an international standard,” she said.

Bruce expects that the impending arrivals of important artefacts from the international museum will see the flow of tourists visiting the museum increase in the coming months.

“It is now about promotion and marketing and spreading the word. In fact the word has begun spreading already through our broadcasts on social media.”

Santelli said Jamaica should capitalise on the power and the presence of the Marley name.

“The appreciation for Bob Marley outside of Jamaica has remained strong despite him not being with us for a very long time. So this house and what it can mean as a museum can be an anchor for cultural tourism in Jamaica.”

When asked why he thinks Marley has remained relevant today, Santelli said “Bob Marley was an amazing songwriter and an even more amazing performer, maybe the greatest performer ever.”