harmony-of-the-seas-falmouth-maiden-voyage-nov-22-2016-37Falmouth targeted to become tourism mecca

The following are excerpts from announcements made by both the Prime Minister and Minister of Tourism about the future plans and outlook for Falmouth, Trelawny. The government of Jamaica has zeroed in on Falmouth, targeting a plan to make the Georgian era town into a tourism mecca for Jamaica.

Prime Minister to take personal interest in Falmouth’s development

The Prime Minister himself stated: “I want it to be known publicly that I will be taking a personal interest in ensuring that Falmouth town itself is given the attention it deserves.” the Prime Minister said. He was speaking at the ground-breaking ceremony for the Excellence Group’s Oyster Bay hotel in Blue Waters, Trelawny, on March 30.

Prime Minister Andrew Holness says he will be taking “a personal interest” in the development of Falmouth, in an effort to address the raft of social ills that is preventing the destination from realising its true potential.

falmouth-market-duke-street-brick-laying-1He argued that while Falmouth appears to be the choice location for investments in tourism, and has “an incredible potential”, not just for all-inclusive developments but also for cruise shipping, there are a number of factors that are hindering its growth and development.

The town has so much history, the architecture is there… but public order issues, cleanliness issues, organisational issues of the town, and just leadership is necessary.

“I am hearing too many complaints from the cruise shipping sector of dissatisfaction that the place isn’t ready, we have to correct that, and I am saying it publicly that I am going to take a personal interest in ensuring that it is corrected,” the prime minister responded.

Government grants 1.4 billion for development into 2018

As such, the government has granted 1.4 billion towards the town’s development to transform the north coast town into a first-class cruise destination byt the beginning of next year 2018.

Trelawny has the capacity to become the largest distributor of cruise passengers in the Caribbean

Minister of Tourism Edmund Bartlett said Falmouth, Trelawny has the capacity to become the largest distributor of cruise passengers in the Caribbean, projecting that cruise arrivals should reach 1.5 million by 2021.

Bartlett, who was opening the 2017 Sectoral Debate in Parliament on Tuesday, added that the town should also see earnings of US$180 million or J$2 billion from tourism spending. This, he noted, would entail increasing the average spend by each cruise passenger to US$120, up from the $90 now being spent.

The government is to spend $1.4 billion to transform the town of Falmouth into a first-class cruise tourism destination by 2018.

falmouth-streetscape-construction-market-cornwall-street-december-2016This was disclosed by Tourism Minister, Edmund Bartlett, yesterday in the Sectoral Debate in Parliament.

Bartlett says the sum will be spent to prepare the historic town located in Trelawny for a projected growth in cruise tourists.

According to him, the aim is to grow cruise tourist arrivals in Falmouth to 1.5 million and increase earnings to $2 billion by 2021.

At present, each cruise tourists spend an average US$90. However, the plan is to increase spending to an average US$120.

The tourism minister says the scope of the development will involve the restoration and renovation of several historic buildings, as well as the construction of an artisan village.

Cruise shipping is not the only tourism plan for Trelawny.

Trelawny’s north coast to boast 5000 rooms after 3 major hotel developments

Minister of Tourism Edmund Bartlett has declared that the historic town of Falmouth in Trelawny is on the brink of becoming the new premium tourist destination in the Caribbean.

“Falmouth is poised to become the new tourism centre of the Caribbean because it will be the only district town carefully developed to facilitate all elements of tourism,” Bartlett announced.

His confidence hinges on, among other factors, a projection that by the year 2025 the stretch between Falmouth and Queen’s Highway will boast close to 5,000 rooms, after three major hotel developments come on stream.

harmony-of-the-seas-falmouth-maiden-voyage-nov-22-2016-19Harmony Cove

One of the hotel development projects is the highly touted and long-awaited Harmony Cove development, for which a ground-breaking date is expected to be announced before the end of this year.

“The Harmony Cove programme, which has been languishing for a while, I am advised that we are already now in discussion that, before the year is out, a date will be given for ground-breaking activities to see that Harmony Cove project coming to fruition,” Bartlett announced Wednesday.

The tourism minister, who was speaking at the Falmouth Invasion march and concert in the Trelawny capital, also disclosed that he will return to the parish soon to break ground for a new 750-room hotel in Oyster Bay. He said this would be followed shortly by another 750-room hotel construction on a nearby Coral Spring property.

Bartlett noted that just over US$300 million was recently spent to build the port in Falmouth, which he said “is the largest port in the Caribbean to receive the largest ships that are sailing on the world’s oceans today”.

“We are spending close to another $100 million in building out the experience in the town over the next four to five years,” he added.

What’s in it for locals?

The potential for Falmouth is huge and in a few years time, the town will be totally different from what it is now. Let’s hope that all sectors of the parish get a piece of the pie, and the locals are not locked out of their town as big business comes in to gobble up all the opportunities. This has been the case so far with the Falmouth Port. Let’s hope that the playing field gets more level than it has been so far and that locals are not more alienated from the developments as has been the trend so far.

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