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'Rum country' attracting more cruise passengers - More than 200 tourists visit Hampden this month

Published:Monday | January 30, 2017 | 1:00 AMChristopher Thomas
The Hampden Estate

WESTERN BUREAU:

With more than 200 cruise ship passengers visiting the historic site so far this year, the operators of the Hampden Estate in Trelawny, which is home to the award-winning Rum Fire distillery, are optimistic that this will be a booming year for the increasingly popular attraction.

Christelle Harris, marketing director at Hampden Estate, told The Gleaner that from last June to January this year, the facility saw a consistently growing number of visitors, who have been brought by tour operators to see the world-famous distillery.

"Between June and December 2016, the numbers (of visitors) ranged from 50 to 150 per month, and each month, we get more visitors," said Harris. "So far this month, we have had over 200 visitors."

 

CONTRACTS WITH TOURS

 

Added Harris: "We have not done very much advertising or promotional work in regard to getting the tour out there, but we are working with some tour operators, and we have signed some contracts with some more operators (to bring more visitors)."

The Hampden Estate, founded in 1753, is part of a historic tradition of sugar manufacturing in Jamaica. In earlier times, it was owned by the Farquharsen family and later by the Government of Jamaica, which in 2009 divested the property to its current operators, the Hussey family-owned Everglades Farms Limited.

Although it has downsized its operations as a sugar-growing entity, Hampden currently offers two-hour-long tours of its distillery and the grounds of the estate's great house from Mondays to Fridays, primarily to cruise ship passengers docking in Falmouth.

Speaking to the continued provision of visitors from the cruise lines and tour operators, Harris said Hampden has forged agreements with several entities for tours, including the Disney cruise line.