A group of cyclists from Kingston participated in the second leg of the Discover Jamaica by Bike series, which took place over the weekend (February 19 to 21).
The group departed the Spanish Court Hotel in Kingston on February 19, continuing along the south coast to Treasure Beach, St Elizabeth.
The series, a new tourism initiative done in partnership with the Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB) and the Jamaica Cycling Association, is rooted in active travel and the development of outdoor programmes geared towards allowing participants to embrace the island’s natural beauty, while enabling physical distancing.
Deputy Director of Tourism, Marketing, at JTB, Camile Glenister, told JIS News that the initiative provides an opportunity to highlight Jamaica’s diverse tourism product offering, “focusing on sports, health and wellness and adventure tourism”.
“This niche segment of the industry produces a significant income in sales annually that we can capitalise on, because cyclists are generally average to above-average income earners,” said Mrs. Glenister, adding that it also provides “a unique opportunity to invite and bring support from these high-income earners globally into destination Jamaica along with their teams, friends and family”.
Mrs. Glenister further indicated that the series includes cycling routes in 13 of the 14 parishes and that it will end with the ‘Ultimate Ride’, taking riders from Portland through to Ocho Rios, Montego Bay, Mandeville and Kingston.
Meanwhile, Past President of the Jamaica Cycling Association and recreational cyclist, Dennis Chung, said the event is not just about riding but also to feature some of the tourism spots across Jamaica that are not otherwise highlighted.
“This is just a continuation of us trying to, through cycling, which is a healthy way of seeing Jamaica, actually bring attention to some of the undiscovered gems of Jamaica,” said Mr. Chung.
He informed that the ride to Treasure Beach saw riders making stops at “places that people would not normally hear about,” including the coconut man on the side of the road, the fruit vendor, Murray’s Jerk Centre and Claudette’s – a shop located along Spur Tree Hill and known by Jamaicans for its curried goat.
He indicated that these “spots” and others will be featured in the production being put together by the film crew that accompanies the riders on each leg of the series.
Mr. Chung further highlighted that while in Treasure Beach, the group completed a community tour on Saturday, which included a ride to Great Bay Beach as well as to some farms in St. Elizabeth, while on Sunday they rode out to Lover’s Leap.
The first leg of the series took place on February 6. It saw a group of riders exploring the route which started at the Spanish Court Hotel in Kingston and ended at the Holywell Park in St. Andrew.