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Jamaica: Come home for Golden Jubilee

Bevan Springer | 5/9/2012, 6:18 p.m.
NEW YORK--Jamaica will be jumping for a year with a panoply of events celebrating its...
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NEW YORK--Jamaica will be jumping for a year with a panoply of events celebrating its 50th anniversary of independence from Britain. But it will be doing so very much with its diaspora in mind.

Determined to share the joy with as many overseas-based Jamaicans as possible, a multitude of incentives will be offered to entice them to "come back a yard" and celebrate.

Value-packed specials on island travel are on offer this year, and with nonstop flights available from most major cities across the U.S., Jamaica is just a hop, skip and a jump away.

The island is easily accessible and provides great value for travelers seeking to enjoy the very special celebrations marking the five decades of independence. To ensure as many of her daughters and sons can participate in the historic celebrations, the island nation will mark that momentous day half a century ago--for 365 days.

"Jamaica's hotels and attractions have created special packages to entice Jamaicans living overseas," said John Lynch, director of tourism. "There are a number of ways to save this summer on top of already value-priced rates."

Participating hotels, some of which are offering special gifts and credits in addition to affordable rates, include the Jamaica Pegasus, Courtleigh Hotel and Suites, Spanish Court Hotel, Knutsford Court Hotel, Two Seasons Guest House, Doctors Cave Beach Hotel, Coyaba Beach Resort, Half Moon: A Rock Resort, the Ritz-Carlton Golf and Spa Resort, and Round Hill Hotel and Villas.

Jamaica earned its independence from the United Kingdom on Aug. 6, 1962.

Meanwhile, one of the Caribbean's leading plantation resorts has crafted a "romance package" for visitors seeking the kind of unique experiences for which St. Lucia is world-renowned.

Fond Doux Holiday Plantation resort in Soufriere, the Caribbean's romance capital, is offering couples a $275 supplement that can now be combined with special summer room rates.

An add-on to the breakfast-inclusive one-bedroom units, which start at $130 per night, the additional romance package provides a private dinner for two, a sunset catamaran cruise, a couple's massage at the restorative Mamma La Terre Spa, a two-day car rental to explore Soufriere's attractions and a sunset cocktail evening with stunning sunsets at the neighboring Ladera resort.

The romance supplement is available for travel through Dec. 15. Travel must be booked by June 15.

"We developed our newest romance supplement from the feedback we received from our guests who had been captivated by Soufriere's romantic charm," said Eroline Lamontagne, the resort's general manager. "Our guests are looking for active romantic experiences--from hiking the famous Tte Paul trail, sailing the dreamy Caribbean coast to visiting the world famous Sulphur Springs and relaxing with locals in our quaint rum bars."