Discover Jamaica by Bike Tour to focus on tourism products
Recreational cyclist and chartered accountant Dennis Chung is spearheading an initiative aimed at shining the global spotlight on Jamaica’s tourism product to give it a well-needed boost at a time when the sector is struggling to stay afloat, owing to the crippling effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Dubbed ‘Discover Jamaica by Bike Tour’, Chung and four other core riders will cycle around Jamaica to showcase the tourism product, starting on Friday, October 2, and ending on Monday, October 5.
“This will be an annual event, but I decided to do it this year in order to bring some focus on Jamaica’s tourism product as we struggle with the COVID environment. My thought is that if we can get some persons going to the hotels, then it will ensure that workers also have a job and children will be able to eat a meal,” he told The Gleaner.
With no registration fee requirement this year, Chung said that persons are invited to participate, but must observe the Government’s COVID health protocols.
Chung said that the Jamaica Tourist Board has pledged support for the ride and will be broadcasting the images locally and internationally “as we keep Jamaica in the minds of those overseas so that when this pandemic has died down, we will still be very relevant”.
“So, we are working with the Jamaica Tourist Board and will be doing a four-day ride, and along the way there will be videos and pictures taken which will record some of the ‘gems’ of Jamaica’s tourism, including the coconut man, and restaurants that persons may not know. I can also say there is no better way to see Jamaica than on a bicycle,” Chung shared.
The other riders are Donovan White, director of tourism; Carlton Simmonds, national cycling coach; Andrew Ramsay, national cycling representative; and Mike Smith, recreational cyclist.
“Other riders will join us along the way, but we will keep the groups that are together small, and groups will be separated by cars, as we respect the COVID protocol.”
“Persons can stay at the participating hotels, and can call Go Jamaica and just say they are doing the Discover Jamaica by Bike Tour, and they will get special rates at Goblin Hill (stay night of Thursday Oct 1), RIU Ocho Rios (night of October 2), Skylark Hotel Negril (night of October 3), and Tropic Hotel in Mandeville (night of October 4).”
The core group will stay at Jamaica Inn, another participating hotel, when they get to Ocho Rios.
The ride will be:
Day 1 - Portland to Ocho Rios, 63 miles.
Day 2 - Ocho Rios to Negril, 110 miles.
Day 3 - Negril to Mandeville, 80 miles (including up Spur Tree Hill).
Day 4 - Mandeville to Kingston, 65 miles.