"Travelers411" Radio Show - October 31, 2015
Mystic Mountain Hummingbird Garden path in Jamaica

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Hour 1

Topics Include:

Link to this segment

Clark Lobban, General Manager, Holiday Inn Resort, Montego Bay, Jamaica.
www.caribbeanhi.com
www.holidayinnresorts.com

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Click here for the Holiday Inn Resort Directory listing where you'll find links to all interviews with Holiday Inn Resort in one place.

Click here for more info and links to all interviews featuring Clark Lobban.

Travelers411 Community Forums - This interview's thread:
https://www.travelers411.com/forums/showthread.php?t=19413

For more information visit www.caribbeanhi.com and www.holidayinnresorts.com


Guests Include:

Clark Lobban, General Manager, Holiday Inn Resort, Montego Bay, Jamaica.
www.caribbeanhi.com
www.holidayinnresorts.com

Hour 2

Topics Include:

Link to this segment

Raymond Stewart, Bartender, Holiday Inn Resort, Montego Bay, Jamaica.
www.hiresortjamaica.com
www.visitjamaica.com

Related Photo Galleries:
https://www.travelers411.com/forums/album.php?albumid=827
https://www.travelers411.com/forums/album.php?albumid=818

Travelers411 Directory:
Click here for the Holiday Inn Resort Directory listing where you'll find links to all interviews with Holiday Inn Resort in one place.

Click here for more info and links to all interviews featuring Raymond Stewart.

Travelers411 Community Forums - This interview's thread:
https://www.travelers411.com/forums/showthread.php?t=19414

For more information visit www.hiresortjamaica.com and www.visitjamaica.com


Link to this segment

Althia Powell, Spa Administrator, Holiday Inn Resort, Montego Bay, Jamaica.
www.hiresortjamaica.com
www.visitjamaica.com

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Travelers411 Directory:
Click here for the Holiday Inn Resort Directory listing where you'll find links to all interviews with Holiday Inn Resort in one place.

Click here for more info and links to all interviews featuring Althia Powell.

Travelers411 Community Forums - This interview's thread:
https://www.travelers411.com/forums/showthread.php?t=19415

For more information visit www.hiresortjamaica.com and www.visitjamaica.com


Link to this segment

Carol Dunbar, Senior Sale Manager, Holiday Inn Resort, Montego Bay, Jamaica.
www.caribbeanhi.comjamaica

Related Photo Galleries:
https://www.travelers411.com/forums/album.php?albumid=827
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Travelers411 Directory:
Click here for the Holiday Inn Resort Directory listing where you'll find links to all interviews with Holiday Inn Resort in one place.

Click here for more info and links to all interviews featuring Carol Dunbar.

Travelers411 Community Forums - This interview's thread:
https://www.travelers411.com/forums/showthread.php?t=19416

For more information visit www.caribbeanhi.comjamaica


Guests Include:

Raymond Stewart, Bartender, Holiday Inn Resort, Montego Bay, Jamaica.
www.hiresortjamaica.com
www.visitjamaica.com

Althia Powell, Spa Administrator, Holiday Inn Resort, Montego Bay, Jamaica.
www.hiresortjamaica.com
www.visitjamaica.com

Carol Dunbar, Senior Sale Manager, Holiday Inn Resort, Montego Bay, Jamaica.
www.caribbeanhi.comjamaica

Hour 3

Topics Include:

Link to this segment

Granville Bentley Morgan, Administrator, Jamaica's Meet-the-People Program, Montego Bay, Jamaica.
www.visitjamaica.com

Related Photo Galleries:
https://www.travelers411.com/forums/album.php?albumid=1623

Travelers411 Directory:
Click here for the Jamaica's Meet-the-People Program Directory listing where you'll find links to all interviews with Jamaica's Meet-the-People Program in one place.

Click here for more info and links to all interviews featuring Granville Bentley Morgan.

Travelers411 Community Forums - This interview's thread:
https://www.travelers411.com/forums/showthread.php?t=19417

For more information visit www.visitjamaica.com


Link to this segment

Click here to listen to Natalie Morris, Regional Manager, Western Jamaica, Jamaica Cultural Development Commission interviewed by Stephanie Abrams without commercials.

Natalie Morris, Regional Manager, Western Jamaica, Jamaica Cultural Development Commission, Montego Bay, Jamaica.
www.visitjamaica.com
www.jcdc.gov.jm

Discover the REAL Jamaica by meeting its people.

Travel Expert Stephanie Abrams talks with Natalie Morris, Regional Manager of Western Jamaica for the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC) and a volunteer member of the Jamaica Tourist Board's Meet-The-People-Program. Today's discussion takes place at the Holiday Inn Montego Bay Resort in Jamaica. Natalie Morris says she is responsible for four Jamaican regions including St. James, Hanover, Westmoreland and Trelawny and that she has been involved with the Meet-The-People-Program for about five years. Natalie says she volunteers with the Meet-The-People-Program but is a staff member at the JCDC which is also the former director of the Meet-The-People-Program. She mentions Norma Taylor as giving her introduction to the program to which Stephanie responds "you send Norma Taylor big hugs and kisses from Stephanie Abrams". Stephanie says of Norma, "what a wonderful woman. I met and interviewed her in June 2008."

Stephanie Abrams says generally, "If you really want to understand a destination you need to get out and meet the people and if you are traveling in a place like Europe it generally means you need to get out of the big cities. You can't really meet the people of a destination until you get out of the cities. You won't meet the people in the big cities, it doesn't matter what country you are in. You'll meet the taxi cab drivers, you'll meet the shop keepers and workers, waiters and waitresses in the restaurants, the front desk people and maybe housekeeping people in the hotel, the token takers on the subways and the museum guards," who she says, "by the way are all cut from the same fabric no matter where in the world they are from." Stephanie says "you can't really meet the people when you visit a big destination until you get out of the cities and if you are lucky you will get to meet people along the way. Jamaica makes it easy for you!" says Stephanie, "and particularly easy to meet people who have similar interests to your interests."

Stephanie Abrams asks Natalie Morris how she decided to structure her involvement in the Meet-The-People-Program in terms of who she would be meeting with, since it is a volunteer program. Natalie says that her work with the JCDC, which is an agency of the Jamaican government tasked to do the work of "preserving expressions", organizes what is called the Jamaica Festival. To serve as a description of the term and practice of Preservation of Expressions, Natalie mentions the Tambu and Etu dance forms. Natalie says "the Tambu and Etu are some of the most African of the retentions that are found in Jamaica and they (Jamaicans) have those practices on stage in a commoditized way." She says that she's been talking with Mr. Granville Morgan about taking visitors to the villages to meet people with the "spirit of the ancestors" to see them in live performances.

Natalie says the Jamaica Festival starts in September and runs straight through to August as a year round story since it culminates with an Independence Day celebration on August 6th. Jamaica gained its independence from the UK in 1962. She says it’s a great opportunity for visitors coming to Jamaica to see that side of Jamaica. She says "people get to see the belly of Jamaica through the children. Travelers staying at a resort will see nightly cabaret, but won't get a chance to see when that performer was [like] in the embryonic stage [some of the children are] under 6 years of age."

Natalie says the Jamaica Festival is the heartbeat of the people and there is an element of the Festival called the Festival Song competition. She says that groups such as Toots and the Maytals and even Bob Marley entered the completion in his day. The competition seeks a song maker who captures the heart of the Jamaican people in song.

Natalie says the Meet-The-People-Program gives visitors to Jamaica the opportunity to interface directly with a teacher, carpenter, musician, scout leader, chef, or amateur cook interested in learning about Jamaican cooking, while at the same time sharing your experience and hopefully becoming friends and having one more reason to come back to Jamaica another time. Natalie Morris says that there are opportunities to experience culinary, visual, performing, or even creative writing. For instance, Natalie says that right now the Meet-The-People-Program is partnered with libraries to showcase entries like poetry in competition and so on.

Stephanie asks how many different specialties or categories are represented by the ambassador membership. Natalie lets us know that this number is in the hundreds. Natalie says she is a "cultural representative" but there are painters "that will actually sit with someone. Some volunteers with the program like to incorporate their Jamaican family and those persons will actually open their home to visitors." Natalie says that the program doesn't have a set or restricted number of program categories but rather they want persons to feel like they can custom tailor experiences. She says there's no experience that is too far out and far-fetched "if you know what I mean when we talk about that Jamaican experience."

Stephanie asks, "In the five years, five years plus, working with visitors is there a particular visit that stands out in your mind?" Natalie recounts a group that came in 2004 consisting of two families that get together every year in different countries in the world for an ad-hoc reunion, since one of the families lives in Canada and the other in the United States. According to Natalie, this group specifically wanted to see a market in Jamaica so she took them to the Montego Bay Charles Gordon Market, on a Friday which she says is one of the busiest days, to get the experience of how Jamaicans haggle for product and negotiate price on Jamaican fruit and "they enjoyed it thoroughly". Natalie found it very interesting that there was a particular need for that type of experience since she never would have thought herself, for instance, of going into London, England and wanting to go to Shepherds Bush Market.

Stephanie says going to a market is also interesting because you see the things people buy, which are the most popular, and in most places in the world its predominantly local goods and local product and you can learn so much. As Stephanie was listening to Natalie, she was thinking, "wouldn't it be fun to do a kind of globe hopping trip … anyone that has ever been to Budapest in Hungary would know this big brick building that looks like a train station and the first two levels are all food and everything else is clothing of various kinds and whatever." Then she thought about "Las Ramblas, in Barcelona, Spain where there is a big market, and the movie Notting Hill starring Hugh Grant and Julia Roberts (1999. Directed by: Roger Michell) which features a great 4-seasons scene of Shepherd's Bush Market." Stephanie says that just "like there are people who like to visit lighthouses and will go all over the world to visit lighthouses," if you are into markets, "you've got one more reason to visit Jamaica."

Stephanie remembers a previous interview with radio guest Melody Haughton, President of the Harbour Street Craft Market and Jamaica Craft Traders and Producers Association and Errol Lewis whose artwork reminds her of one of the people in the craft market who carves wooden masks. Stephanie says you'll find the interview archived on the website sabrams.com and travelers411.com. Stephanie says you never know when you'll find "the Bingo moment" where you suddenly tap into a person's interests and that in the Jamaican you'll find everything from handmade baskets to wall décor to jewelry to everything in between.

At the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC), Natalie says, they are among other things involved in training their teachers and community members in the performing arts. This year's agenda includes identifying at least one area in the western region where there will be an active live performance of a folk form. Natalie describes a "folk form" as a practice of Jamaican ancestors in music and dance. She says in the west of the country there are three forms that are unique to that part of Jamaica. Natalie Morris says that in Trelawny it is Tambu, a dance and music form that is typically practiced at a birth or death; so a practice of celebration in communities that dates to Jamaica's colonial period and during slavery. She says the Tambu originates from villages in Africa. She says in Hanover, Jamaica they have the form Etu, which she says, is similar in its heritage. In Westmoreland they have Gere (pronounced Ger-ray). She says "all these things you really need to go into the villages to get it. You're not really going to get it when you meet the man at the bus stop."

Stephanie asks Natalie to tell listeners about the best way to connect with the Meet-The-People-Program. Natalie says that they can do this through the Jamaica Tourist Board on the website at visitjamaica.com where there is a button to click. From there, Natalie says "you to tell your experience so you actually tailor your experience and you tell them what your wish list is and someone will try and pair you with the person that they think can help make your magic happen." Stephanie says "I don't think you can make a mistake because Jamaican people just have a natural bubbly personality and hospitable warmth that is close to unparalleled in the world."

Related Photo Galleries:
https://www.travelers411.com/forums/album.php?albumid=876

Travelers411 Directory:
Click here for the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission Directory listing where you'll find links to all interviews with Jamaica Cultural Development Commission in one place.

Click here for more info and links to all interviews featuring Natalie Morris.

Travelers411 Community Forums - This interview's thread:
https://www.travelers411.com/forums/showthread.php?t=19418

For more information visit www.visitjamaica.com and www.jcdc.gov.jm


Link to this segment

Granville Bentley Morgan, Administrator, Jamaica's Meet-the-People Program, Montego Bay, Jamaica.
www.visitjamaica.com

Related Photo Galleries:
https://www.travelers411.com/forums/album.php?albumid=1623

Travelers411 Directory:
Click here for the Jamaica's Meet-the-People Program Directory listing where you'll find links to all interviews with Jamaica's Meet-the-People Program in one place.

Click here for more info and links to all interviews featuring Granville Bentley Morgan.

Travelers411 Community Forums - This interview's thread:
https://www.travelers411.com/forums/showthread.php?t=19417

For more information visit www.visitjamaica.com


Guests Include:

Granville Bentley Morgan, Administrator, Jamaica's Meet-the-People Program, Montego Bay, Jamaica.
www.visitjamaica.com

Natalie Morris, Regional Manager, Western Jamaica, Jamaica Cultural Development Commission, Montego Bay, Jamaica.
www.visitjamaica.com
www.jcdc.gov.jm

Granville Bentley Morgan, Administrator, Jamaica's Meet-the-People Program, Montego Bay, Jamaica.
www.visitjamaica.com

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