Just mention the word Jamaica and the mind is filled with images of beach party, reggae and rum. The most populous English speaking island simply exudes with relaxed and laidback life on the beach. It is home to a lot of celebrities while still more rich and famous flock to the party island day in and day out.
The island nation is called Xaymaca by its native inhabitants, which in Arawakan means either "Land of Springs" or "Land of Wood and Water". A compelling tourist attraction by itself, Jamaica actually owes its enormous and vibrant tourism industry to two persons namely, Bob Marley and Errol Flynn.
Internationally revered as the King of Reggae music, Bob Marley is a homegrown talent that brought Jamaica to the world's center stage. His phenomenal influence in the world's music landscape is best demonstrated by the number of countries that have their own annual Bob Marley Day celebrations, which includes Germany, Belgium, Finland, Italy and Denmark to name a few. But of course, every fervent fan would always argue that the commemoration of the life and achievements of the person that introduced reggae to the world would never be as meaningful and significant as the one being celebrated in Bob Marley's own homeland Jamaica. Each year, the country honors Bob Marley through a weeklong music festival dubbed as the Reggae Sunsplash Festival held every February, his birthday month. A music lover's Jamaican escapade is never complete without a pilgrimage to various pit stops dedicated to the Reggae King, namely, Bob Marley Museum and Bob Marley Mausoleum to name a few.
If Bob Marley brought Jamaica to the world, Errol Flynn brought the world to Jamaica. The latter discovered and fell in love with the pristine beauty of the island when his yacht ran aground along the foreshores of San Antonio sometime in the 1940s. From yachting, he started one of the island's greatest attractions today which is river rafting. The Hollywood superstar came to Jamaica and never left. He bought a hotel and later a vast estate in Navy Island where he kept himself busy in his 3,000 acres of ranch and coconut plantation, one of the biggest in the island. Ever since he settled in his Caribbean hideaway, Errol Flynn was never out of guests to entertain, most of whom were Hollywood celebrities that marked the start of tourist exodus to the islands.