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.
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.
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.