Tourism Ministry Looks to Add Accompong Maroon Celebrations to Calendar of Events

Photo: Marlon Tingling Tourism Minister, Hon. Edmund Bartlett (left), greets visitors attending the Accompong Maroon celebrations held on Friday (January 6) in St. Elizabeth.

Story Highlights

  • The Ministry of Tourism is looking to add the annual Accompong Maroon celebration to its annual calendar of events as it looks to take advantage of the country’s rich cultural heritage to bring more visitors to the island.
  • “We will make Accompong the first destination that we will now put into the calendar of events and … market you alongside the destination when we go abroad to market the experiences in Jamaica. We are satisfied that the authenticity of this experience will enhance Jamaica’s presence in the global community,” portfolio Minister, Hon. Edmund Bartlett said.
  • The New York Times newspaper in the United States recently ranked Jamaica 24 out of 52 worldwide tourist destinations that must be visited, based on the diverse product offerings.

The Ministry of Tourism is looking to add the annual Accompong Maroon celebration to its annual calendar of events as it looks to take advantage of the country’s rich cultural heritage to bring more visitors to the island.

Portfolio Minister, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, said the Ministry intends to work with the Accompong community to develop the experience and market it in the international marketplace.

He noted that the Ministry has identified the area of entertainment, culture and sport as one of the pillars for tourism growth, and it is within this context that the Accompong celebrations will be framed.

“We will make Accompong the first destination that we will now put into the calendar of events and … market you alongside the destination when we go abroad to market the experiences in Jamaica. We are satisfied that the authenticity of this experience will enhance Jamaica’s presence in the global community,” he said.

“We have a network that will work with Colonel (Ferron) Williams and his cultural committee to build out this festival and to make it a kind of event, not only for the Maroons but for all visitors,” Minister Bartlett added.

He was addressing the 279th Accompong Maroon celebrations held on Friday (January 6) in the community in St. Elizabeth.

He said the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) estimates that heritage and cultural tourism accounts for 40 per cent of the international market.

The New York Times newspaper in the United States recently ranked Jamaica 24 out of 52 worldwide tourist destinations that must be visited, based on the diverse product offerings.

“It is that rich cultural heritage that has propelled Jamaica into the high echelons of recognition of global destinations to be considered and celebrated,” he pointed out.

The Tourism Minister commended the Accompong Maroons on maintaining the tradition of celebrating the signing of the peace treaty with the British and the birth of Captain Kojo.

He noted that the Maroons have a strong, proud and centuries-old history that celebrates a rich African ancestry, and a vibrant community centred around the spirit of family.

“This annual festival is more than a celebration of the historic victory of the Maroons over the British, and the first Maroon war and the subsequent peace treaty signed in 1739, which still holds today.

“Because of this Maroon culture, freedom is understood, peace is recognised, stability is heralded and we have, as an example, the Maroon community of Accompong and others as the most peaceful communities in Jamaica today,” the Tourism Minister said.

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