Jamaicans are the ones keeping jerk vendors like Victor ‘Brown Man’ Grigg’s afloat along the Hip Strip in Montego Bay in the absence of visitors who are few in numbers since the closure of several resorts along the area.
Busily preparing his chicken and festivals for his nightly customers Brown Man as his customers call him, took an opportunity to explain how he has had to marshal the support of Jamaicans in order to remain economically viable during this period.
The ‘Hip Strip’ is the name given to quarter-mile roadway on Gloucester Avenue in Montego Bay, Jamaica that is a shopping and eatery district for tourist and locals.
“Our thing is done at nights we use to start at 7p.m. and continue right back until when the parties on the entire street are over in the mornings but now start at 10 p.m. so as not to compete with some of the restaurants. We as jerk vendors now cater to our own local partygoers because the tourist support is hardly there anymore. So right now we affi mek sure that our ting well seasoned and spicy to suite our Jamaicans” he revealed.
For this jerk vendor who has been catering to the appetites of local and international customers for the past five years, has watched tourist support declined gradually over that period. This Brown Man calculated as “90 percent or more of the business now comes from locals, if we are lucky the next 10 percent of less is what we get from tourist who may just walk by or drive by the Hip Strip. Di ting is not what it used to be like but our own his helping us to remain in business”.
Meanwhile, after 25 years of selling crafts along the Hip Strip in Montego Bay, Raymond Smith has never seen such dismal outlook that now seems define the area which is lack of a vibrant atmosphere and few tourists.
“Back in the days when the hotels were open and the area was buzzing you didn’t even have to call a visitor over to buy your stuff, they would just see and buy, all stores along the strip were more unified, everyone looked out for each other” he smiled. But no so these days, it is every man for his or herself in the tourism business he affirmed.
Smith alluded to the fact that had it not been for the renowned Doctor’s Cave Beach and Aqua Sol Theme Park along the Hip Strip that continues to attract tourist, things may have been ever worse “probably we wouldn’t even have any tourist a walk by now given the fact that these hotels lock shop. Thank God fi di few that remain open” he stated. “The hip gone outta di Hip Strip, right now a so so foot” he joked.Immobilienmakler Heidelberg Makler Heidelberg
Source by Sheena Gayle