The 'Jamaica Girl' Poster: Story Of The Best Tourism Image Of The '70s

By | February 5, 2021

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Source: Heritage Auctions

Could poster of a girl in a wet t-shirt make Jamaica an appealing tourist destination? Well it was worth a try. In 1972, Sintra Bronte waded into the water of a Jamaican beach wearing a red shirt, and the "Jamaica Girl" was born.

Jamaica's tourism boom began with Bond, James Bond. During World War II, the island was still under British rule and served as an Allied base. Wealthy Brits like 007 author Ian Fleming built resorts and second homes on the island. After gaining independence in 1962, Jamaica became a very in place for tourism but the country couldn't just bring in visitors on word of mouth alone.

A decade after Jamaica opened up as a tourist destination the "Jamaica" poster became a major part of their campaign and it makes perfect sense. This shot of a gorgeous woman wearing a tight, wet t-shirt shows the dream of an island getaway. Featuring Trinidadian model Sintra Bronte -- yes, the famous "Jamaica Girl" is from Trinidad, not Jamaica -- this poster became a mainstay of groovy era tourism.

Jamaica was ready for a tourism explosion

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source: jamaica tourism board

Jamaica's first tourism boom began after World War II when commercial airline routes opened between the island and Miami and then the island and New York and London. By the time Jamaica gained its independence in 1962, the country was aligned with Cuba in its socialist leanings. The capital fell and it was clear to everyone on the island that something needed to change.

By the early '70s, the reggae and Rastafarian movements were becoming a part of the culture at large and people from across the western world wanted to get in on the vibes that they heard in the songs of Bob Marley and Jimmy Cliff. The Jamaican tourism board needed an image to bring in people from across the world.