A tale of two resorts …
Consider this tale of two resorts …
My vacation to Jamaica wasn’t at one of the large, posh resorts you often hear about. Instead, I stayed at a basic, all-inclusive resort in the town of Falmouth.
Guests at the resort were encouraged not to stray outside the property alone, and it was recommended travel be limited to guided excursions outside the resort grounds. It was emphasized that guests who wondered out on their own could become a target of criminal activity or harassment.
The resort had a great beach, and that was good enough for me. Although one day, while swimming in the ocean, a town local somehow made his way around the walls and onto the beach. The fellow swam out to me, introduced himself as “Captain Skippy,” welcomed me to his country, then informed me he could provide me with marijuana if I had any interest (which I didn’t).
This was a resort that walled off its beauty and comfort from the community that surrounded it; it was only for select guests who could pay the rates. Locals were not welcome.
Contrast that with Crusoe’s Retreat, a small resort on Fiji’s main island of Viti Levu. This little resort is about a two-hour drive from the international airport and is tucked away on a secluded beach on the famous Coral Coast.
Immediately next to the resort was a traditional Fijian village and most of the employees at the resort lived in the village next door. The villagers would come over in the evening to dance and sing for the resort guests, and would invite the guests over to the village for a sip of kava. As resort guests strolled the beach, villagers would wave and cry out, “Bula! Bula!” (somewhat like the word “aloha,” it is a kind Fijian greeting).
This resort interacted openly with the locals to the benefit of both guests and villagers.