Falmouth To Be Named Jamaica’s First Heritage Township

It has been said too often that Falmouth is not benefiting from the cruise ship pier located in the town. The government has heard, and is seeking ways that the town can benefit from the thousands of visitors who enter the port each week. They recently announced that Falmouth will become Jamaica’s first heritage town.

As to whether this can transform the town as an attraction for tourists is left to be seen. Initially, even before the first ship docked in Falmouth, the plan was to sell Falmouth as a heritage town with its historic buildings. That soon backfired. Will it now work simply by naming it a heritage township?

Tour Companies Giving Falmouth a Negative Image

Falmouth town is being given a negative image by parties who gain from selling tours to visitors. There is no gain from telling people to walk in Falmouth. Instead visitors are encouraged not to go into Falmouth so they will pick up one of the many packaged tours.

I personally listened to a Finnish visitor who took a walk tour into Falmouth that stopped beside me in Water Square. I overheard him talking to the tour guide.

He said: “But this is good! I have been to Jamaica on several cruises in Montego Bay, but this is good.”

He went on to say: “Everywhere we go they say, “don’t go into Falmouth, don’t go into Falmouth,” but this is good. You get the real feel of Jamaica, and the people are nice!”

The tour operator turned to me and said: “Yu see wha mi a talk bout (Do you see what I am talking about)?”

She went on to tell me that this is what she hears over and over again.

The visitor went on to say the persons selling him tours were the ones telling him not to venture into Falmouth.

Local Tour Operators Also Giving Town Negative Image?

Unfortunately, it is alleged that this also includes local tour operators some of whom are from the area.

They reportedly dissuade the visitors from going into the town and instead promote tour destinations outside the town. Indeed, these tour operators can be seen on the streets with their laminated itinerary. These they show to visitors to lure them away.

Now that is understandable and expected. The local man will do what he has to do to survive. Already, there are too many persons looking to eat of the one pie. A tour bus operator will do what it takes to get his customer.

Too Many Tour Bus Operators

Here is why this happens. There are too many tour bus operators. Tour drivers come from all over Jamaica. There are persons who come in each ship day from Kingston, Ocho Rios, Brown’s Town, Montego Bay; in fact, all over Jamaica.

Drivers also allege that there is unfair allotment of spots on the pier, favouring a few ‘lucky’ persons, dominated by drivers from another parish. The ‘unlucky’ drivers who cannot get a spot on the pier for a particular day, take to the streets, content with scavenging among those visitors who decide to take a walk into Falmouth town.

In scouting prospects, drivers sometimes get too competitive and scare visitors. This was why they are not allowed to stand outside the gates of the pier.

Not as Simple as it Sounds

It is not as simple as it sounds. Many of these tour bus operators have loans to pay on their vehicles and need to get regular jobs to survive. How this situation will get better is unforeseen.

Tour bus drivers waiting to snatch away Falmouth town’s prospective visitors

How To Get Visitors To Come To You

Falmouth needs attractions yes, but for the existing businesses here who wish to be seen by international visitors and are not being seen by them, there is a remedy: let visitors know about your business before they come to Jamaica. Your business hidden somewhere on a backstreet in Falmouth cannot be noticed by people who may never physically get there.

If they know about your business before coming to Jamaica, they would have already had intent to support your business.

The Solution

Brian Elliott, the write of this article and editor of this website, operates Yahjam Web Design and Marketing Service, which specializes in getting your business known internationally, no matter what its size. Visitors will know the who, what, why, when, where and how of your business, products or services before they set foot in Jamaica. They will already have intent, so it will be harder for any company or person to lure them away. Why sit and wait when you can connect with them before they actually come to Falmouth?

Find out more at Yahjam.com or contact him at 1-876-573-7433.



  1. Brian, get your point and I think it is a good. Once again the plight of Falmouth has highlighted the fact that there is too much reliance on Kingston to get things done. When will towns like Falmouth start marketing themselves overseas and not wait on the Minister of Tourism (who tends to be stretched really thin) to do it? What about the Mayor and his team? Why wouldn’t an aspiring resort town like Falmouth have a fully staffed marketing department or even an agency dedicated to creating awareness for the town.

    I interviewed with a hiring manager recently that went on cruise that stopped in Falmouth (he mentioned it when we discussed my background). First of all he pronounced it Fal-Mouth, and all he could talk about was going to “Dunns Falls”, not staying in town. So visitors cannot even pronounce the name of the town correctly, and did not seem to have any compelling reason to stay in town. At least with good promotion they would be able to pronounce it right to start with. This guy was a VP and we are talking about a 6 figure job so I took the opportunity to educate him and provide him with more information on Falmouth as well as the proper pronunciation … it was quite funny though. Anyhow, when Falmouth gets the type of promotion so that it has the name recognition of Montego Bay, maybe a song or two will do, things will get better. How hard would it be to get your native son, Usain Bolt or Veronica Campbell to be a spokesperson for the capital of Trelawny. Bob marley is already synonymous with Jamaica, I believe these two athletes must be tied to Falmouth/Trelawny. They cannot afford to continue to miss these opportunities by waiting on Kingston.

  2. So, I cruised to Falmouth last Thanksgiving on Allure of the Seas and made a conscious decision not to book any excursions as I wanted to spend time in the town of Falmouth. As soon as my wife and I walked out of the port we were accosted by female vendors who were a little too aggressive for my liking. My wife who is not Jamaican wanted to nothing to do with it and we turned around and headed back to port. I was quite disappointed as I wanted to see all the nice things they were doing to the town but just could not get far enough without being pestered.

    For me, it would be wonderful if we could just walk around freely like I have done in St. Thomas USVI or Cozumel and be the one to decide if and when I wanted to buy something. I think Falmouth is missing out with people like myself that are looking for different experiences but want to do it in peace. I go to Cruz Bay in St. John USVI and no one bugs me so I felt really free to browse around where I want.

    I am planning another cruise for November this year and my wife’s parents will be with us. Good news is they insist on Jamaica so we will be in Falmouth again. I hope this time our experience will be better as I would love to walk them through this historic town. Please continue to encourage residents to not aggressively approach visitors as in the long run more people will come ashore and subsequently spend more in the town. What I really want is to walk into town, pop into a bar or a jerk stand and enjoy myself. If I feel like getting a souvenir, then I will. Thanks again for the good work in keeping us informed.

    • Oh boy. The people who are doing the damages are not the ones getting the message. There is a culture among us on the streets to be pro-active in sales, a product of what we call the “hustling” mentality. I hardly go to the local “Bendung” market because of how many persons aggressively sell to me. I would really like to quietly shop and make my own decision. We take it as a way of life, but persons from other countries do not take it too well. Sorry for your bad experience, but I am not at all surprised.

  3. Thanks for the response! I am coming back and will brave it this time. Somehow, I believe if I can get into town things will be alright. We are hoping to have my wife’s siblings along as well and want them to have a good time.


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