Sat | Aug 19, 2017

Billion dollar tourism development for Falmouth

Published:Monday | July 25, 2016 | 7:00 AMRichard Morais
Minister of Tourism Edmund Bartlett (centre) at the site for the proposed Artisan Village for Falmouth. He is joined by other stakeholders (from left) Mayor of Falmouth Councillor Garth Wilkinson; commanding officer of the Trelawny Police, Superintendent Clive Blair; MP for North Trelawny Victor Wright; and permanent secretary in the Ministry of Tourism, Jennifer Griffiths.

FALMOUTH, Trelawny:

Over a billion dollars is to be spent in two years to develop historic Falmouth as a major tourism town, Minister of Tourism Edmund Bartlett revealed when he toured the town on Thursday.

"Already, the Tourism Enhancement Fund has spent over $230 million on completed projects here in Falmouth and we have another $1.1 billion of projects on stream, inclusive of the Artisan Village. My timeline is 2018 for all the projects which are now on-stream, to be completed," Bartlett said. He added that he wants to see Falmouth grow from the one million visits annually to 1.5 million over a one-year period. He noted that ships are coming at around two or three days a week, but he wants to see ships coming at least four days per week and he will be going to China in September to talk about the possibility of Chinese cruises emanating from Jamaica.

Bartlett challenged the citizenry, including of the mayor, to keep the town clean as the development is a partnership.

FOR THE PEOPLE

"What I am here today primarily to do is to ensure that there is the buy-in of Falmouth - the stakeholders, the mayor, the MP, the Chamber of Commerce, the police, the average man in the street," he said. "The average person should begin to understand that the development in Falmouth is for them and not for some other people. The value of the experience is for the visitor, but the dollar returns is for you, for the people."

The major project from this spending will be an Artisan Village which will accommodate up to 300 shops. He said that he will not be reinventing the wheel as Government is in the process of working with partners overseas where handicraft is well established with high-quality productions. Bilateral talks will be held to strengthen our local productions.

He said efforts to strengthen safety and security should not be seen as an imposition but a fusion with the community, as this support is necessary to ensure Falmouth's reputation as a safe destination.