Banana replaced sugar as ‘King’ by the early 20th Century, and with investment in sea and rail travel, Montego Bay became a tropical tourist
paradise, playground of the international ‘jet set’. Doctor’s Cave’s curative waters started the trend and guest houses and family-run hotels
popped up around St. James to provide comfort to tourists arriving by Banana Boat. The train also made travelling between the main towns feasible
and allowed them to see Jamaican’s lifestyles and scenic countryside.
Today, the Montego Bay area has developed into Jamaica’s tourism and entertainment capital. Once surrounded by expansive sugar and coconut
estates punctuated by aqueducts and great houses looking to the sea, now hotels, golf courses, tennis courts and shopping malls line the approaches
to the city. The airport, airplanes and buses signal tourist arrivals and vernacular homes have given way to high-rise hotels on the strip that
engulf the beaches. The question is asked, “what do these changes mean for the people of Montego Bay?”