Falmouth selected to be sustainable tourism destination
The capital town of Falmouth in Trelawny, was chosen by the Ministry of Tourism to kick-start a series of activities locally to celebrate the designation of 2017 as the United Nation's International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development.
These activities will culminate with a major United Nations World Tourism Organization global conference, which will be hosted by Jamaica from November 27 to 29 at the Montego Bay Convention Centre.
Hundreds of students and other tourism partners gathered in Water Square last Wednesday for a sensitisation march through the streets of the town, dubbed 'Falmouth Invasion', which was followed by a lunch hour 'awareness-raising concert." The events were aimed at encouraging residents and business interests to keep Falmouth clean and to foster civic pride.
According to Minister of Tourism Edmund Bartlett, the historic Georgian town is poised to become the newest tourism centre of the Caribbean and would be carefully developed to facilitate all elements of tourism.
Bartlett said the ministry was spending close to $300 million "in building out the experience in the town over the next four to five years". Included in the plan are the establishment of an artisan village, restoration of heritage properties and sites, a landscaping project now under way, and a financial programme for small and medium tourism enterprises in Falmouth.
The minister said ground will be broken for a new 325-room hotel on March 30 which will be opened in 2018, and expanded to 750 rooms by 2021.
"Another company is in discussion with me now, and they have already indicated to the mayor their interest in a facility at Coral Spring that will bring another 750 rooms into the Falmouth area," the minister disclosed.
Bartlett said he had been advised that progress is being made with the long-awaited Harmony Cove project and that within another few weeks, a destination management programme will be launched and Falmouth will be designated as a sustainable tourism destination.
"A destination manager will also be appointed to coordinate the overall destination experience ... in the area because, when we market Falmouth to the world, we must not second-guess the experience that the visitors will get when they come here," he stated.
The Falmouth Invasion is one of several activities under the Sustainable Destination Alliance of the Americas (SDAA) initiative. The Ministry of Tourism has partnered with the Organization of American States, under the auspices of the SDAA initiative, and selected Falmouth as a focal area for designation as a sustainable tourism destination.