Jamaica Tourism Minister takes extensive walk through of the town of Falmouth and underscores the need for improvements to the area.
Even as the development of the parish of Trelawny into a sought-after resort is progressing in earnest, Jamaica Tourism Minister, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, is expressing displeasure with the state of sections of the town capital, Falmouth.
Declaring that “we have to fix the town of Falmouth,” Minister Bartlett said a proper public education program has to be carried out in the town to foster public order.
The Minister was emphatic that “the streets problem has to be dealt with and I am going to drive that force as much as we can to make sure that it is dealt with. You can’t have Jamaicans moving around trying to peddle their wares in a toxic environment.”
The walkthrough formed part of a tour of sites in Trelawny and its environs, including Old Folly; the Falmouth Cruise Terminal; Water Square; as well as the Trelawny Parish Church and ended with a meeting with stakeholders at Falmouth Mystic Lagoon Tours. The activities come amid efforts by the Ministry of Tourism and its public bodies to boost destination assurance across the island.
Minister Bartlett has committed to working with Mayor of Falmouth, Councilor Colin Gager and other stakeholders in making representation for the relevant agencies to step in and assist in improving the conditions as well as effecting urgently needed repairs to the historic town hall and court house which have been compromised by issues including aging. This has forced the relocation of the courtroom and offices of the municipality.
Major heritage attraction for visitors to Falmouth needs attention.
Mr. Bartlett also had discussions with representatives of the more than 227-year-old Trelawny Parish Church, one of the town’s historic landmarks, which he described as “an absolute treasure and an architectural delight but is now in state of disrepair and we have to deal with that.”
The Minister outlined that the Falmouth Cruise Terminal will be having larger vessels visiting, while Old Folly is receiving attention from the Tourism Product Development Company (TPDCo). Following an examination of the area Minister Bartlett said steps would be taken for it to be enhanced even more.
TPDCo had erected a gazebo at Old Folly and added a few other elements, however, the Tourism Minister believes that given its amazing view, with further improvements, the location could become a major point of interest for visitors and fuel economic activity that will benefit the average Jamaican. TPDCo has been tasked with executing the additional improvement work.
He has also suggested that a private-public sector partnership for its maintenance similar to that embodied in a memorandum of understanding signed on Thursday for the upkeep of the Mammee Bay Waterwheel in St. Ann, would be ideal for that location as well.
Giving a synopsis of development in Trelawny, Minister Bartlett said currently the parish had 4,000 rooms another 4,000 set to come on stream in the next five to ten years, including the reopening of the Braco Village. “We are in the process of fine-tuning an arrangement with the Ministry of Labor and Social Security, which owns the property, to bring Braco Village back in line and hopefully to have it back in operation by winter of 23/24,” said Mr. Bartlett.
Discussions are also ongoing for 1,000 new rooms in the first instance for Harmony Cove “and the arrangements are now fully advanced for the hotel to come on track,” stated Minister Bartlett. Likewise, he said the new Riu hotel will add 750 rooms next to Royalton and a recent discussion with TUI is expected to result in at least another 700 rooms in that location. On top of these, Minister Bartlett said villas are on the drawing board for Silver Sand and Duncans Bay.
SEEN IN IMAGE: On his recent tour of Falmouth, Minister of Tourism, Hon .Edmund Bartlett (4th left) ,and his team members were accompanied by a group of young uniformed men, formerly deemed as tourist harassers but who have since trained and are now designated members of the Falmouth Guide Services, providing an informed service in a disciplined manner. In commended the men for turning their lives around Mr. Bartlett said he wants this approach to be adopted in all resort areas where visitor harassment has become a problem. Also pictured are Tourism Destination Manager for Falmouth, Stainton Baker (3rd left) and Executive Director, Tourism Enhancement Fund, Dr. Carey Wallace (3rd right). – image courtesy of Jamaica Tourism Ministry
Google News, Bing News, Yahoo News, 200+ publications
Corporate Communications Division
Ministry of Tourism
64 Knutsford Boulevard
Tel: (876) 920-4926-30
Senior Director, Corporate Communications
Ministry of Tourism
64 Knutsford Boulevard
Tel: 920-4926-30, ext.: 5990
Cell: (876) 505-6118