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Rum shacks in Jamaica aren’t necessarily all that they seem…

Next time you stumble upon a rum shack on a secluded beach  in Jamaica, perhaps you’ll think back to this video. As well as being fun, it does make you wonder about your experiences as a tourist when you travel… are you getting the genuine article or are you being presented with what the locals think you want to see?

Paul Johnson

Paul Johnson is Editor of A Luxury Travel Blog and has worked in the travel industry for more than 30 years. He is Winner of the Innovations in Travel ‘Best Travel Influencer’ Award from WIRED magazine. In addition to other awards, the blog has also been voted “one of the world’s best travel blogs” and “best for luxury” by The Daily Telegraph.

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  1. I thought that was brilliant! Very funny, but unfortunately also very believable. I also think that all too often locals in many destinations do present you with what they think you want to see and eat.

    It’s nice in a way that they’re trying to please, but it gets tedious when they keep preventing you from doing the things you actually want to do. We have a well-meaning Thai family member who, any time we went out for a meal with her, would insist on telling the waiters that being farang we didn’t like spicy food – despite our cries of, “We DO like spicy Thai food”.

    She would also order ‘exciting’ things for us like hotdogs with American-style mustard (not to our taste). Eventually we gave up and don’t eat out with her any more.

    To get back to the point, yes, the locals can have some very fixed (and wrong!) ideas about what the tourist really wants.

  2. I’ve also seen the Irish version of this ad. Here is is : https://youtube.com/watch?v=XcrM64mtMMw

    I’m sure that too a certain extent, the locals end up presenting a stereotyped view of their country and it’s characteristics to tourists, Australia is another example of that. I would say that the more “packaged” your travel, the more likely you are to end up with something like what you see in the video / commercial.

  3. Haha this is great. I personally HATE packaged travel anywhere. MAYBE i would get it for Somalia, but other than that, there is nothing else I hate more than being told where to go, how long to stay there, and where I need to be next. I agree, that to experience local culture, you need to get deeper into a society, and that is when you truly experience travelling.

  4. Unfortunately that there are some places in the world today that are almost like a disney like effect of their culture complete with stereotypes, may be this is the curse of mass market tourism. the real treat is when you find the little gems of real life and get to really experience a new and different culture, they are getting harder to find as we all become more internationalised, but are worth looking for.

  5. I have really never thought about it. I do know on websites of course the best pictures are going to go on there which then can be misleading.

  6. I think that it’s true. A lot of locals get savvy to tourists and offer them what they want to see in order to get the most money from them

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