Bartlett says he's working to fix problems at Falmouth port
Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett says he’s working with key stakeholders to address some of the challenges in the town of Falmouth in light of the loss of business from major cruise lines.
In a statement this afternoon, Bartlett said a team led by prominent tourism business leader, John Byles, has already submitted recommendations to fix the problems and is now in the early implementation stage.
Bartlett pointed out that Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines has not included port calls to Falmouth for its new vessel, Symphony of the Seas, and will be temporarily repositioning its other vessel, Allure of the Seas, after April 2018.
Symphony is expected to return to Falmouth in December 2018.
The vessels decided to take their businesses elsewhere over the ongoing problem of visitor harassment, among other things.
The tourism minister is assuring that the temporary withdrawal of the vessels will not result in significant displacement.
The tourism minister said while Falmouth will lose some passenger traffic, the overall growth in cruise numbers for Montego Bay and Ocho Rios will offset those losses and result in continued growth in cruise visitor arrivals.
Bartlett pointed out that between January and May Jamaica saw 885,231 cruise passenger arrivals, up by 5.4 per cent over the same period last year.
He said this growth trajectory is expected to continue.