“It’s real life, even though it’s a dream world. That’s Jamaica,” says a voice over an advertorial video produced by the Jamaican Tourism Board in the early 1960s.
The island gained independence in 1962, and for the first time in centuries, was able to decide on its own how to run its “dream world” in real life. As the newly independent country worked to establish itself as the most desirable destination in the Caribbean, the country’s tourism board turned to Jamaica’s best feature—Jamaicans themselves—for the island’s promotional posters.
Moving away from the illustrated beauty of the 1950s, the Jamaica Tourism Board launched a photography department to shoot scenes of “real life” Jamaica in color, promoting the island’s diverse cultural heritage as well as its natural beauty.
Take a look at some of the best Jamaican tourism photos from the 1960s, and see how much they differ from the 1950s, pre-independence posters here.
Jamaica is a diverse island, with diasporas from Africa, Europe and Asia represented. Our national motto: “Out of many, one people,” the ad says.
A smiling woman sells flowers. “Her flowers are fresh. The morning is beautiful.”
Travelers need not to go all the way to Italy for a ride in a gondola. While the gondolas in Jamaica are made of bamboo, “the mood is holding, just like Venice.”
One of few posters promoting the island’s tropical beaches, this one takes a humorous tone.
Jamaica lured travelers who wanted to hear the island’s unique musical.
No need to visit a stuffy art gallery. In Jamaica, art hangs on houses. Jamaica Tourism Board attracted travelers with the promise of affordable art all over the island.