An artisan village will be constructed in Falmouth, Jamaica; that is, according to tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett. This is planned to be sited in the old Hampden Wharf building on the Falmouth Cruise Ship Pier complex.
There was an announcement about 3 years ago, that a craft market was slated to be built in the same location. However, that has not materialized.
The Falmouth Village is one of 3 to be constructed. The others are planned for Montego Bay and Ocho Rios.
According to the tourism minister, it is part of an effort to “build out the capacity of our artisans to produce goods of a wide variety with strong creative output.” Bartlet was speaking to the new boards of directors of key agencies in his ministry, while outlining five pillars on which the ministry and its agencies will seek to transform the island’s tourism sector in its quest to achieve double-digit growth. This was during a seminar at the Montego Bay Convention Centre. Here is an excerpt from the Observer:
He also disclosed that, “we’re going to build out the capacity of our artisans to produce goods of a wide variety with strong creative output”.
To achieve this, “an institute of craft is going to be developed to enable us to have goods made in Jamaica, sold by Jamaicans and to carry the value of Jamaica to the four corners of the world”.
Concurrently, he said three artisan villages will be constructed, one in Ocho Rios transforming the old Reynolds Pier, another in Freeport next to the Montego Bay Cruise Pier and replacing the existing craft market in the heart of the city, and the third in Falmouth by the old wharf building.
Bartlett said these were being sited “to allow for our artisans and our craft merchandizers to be right where the ship is so that there is no argument again of people bypassing them”.
Source: Jamaica Observer
The plan for an artisan village seems to be more practical than simply a craft village. Visitors will prefer to see craft items being made and the products will have more authenticity and value.
UPDATE: On further research, it was found that this was an idea from 2011 when Bartlett was then Minister of Tourism. His governing party lost at the polls that year, and so the idea was shelved. Back then, he said that similar types of artisan villages can be found in Mexico, Colombia, parts of New Zealand and parts of the USA. Now Bartlett is back, he has re-introduced the plan. Here is the original idea revealed in an article in the Jamaica Observer of January 9, 2011.