Port of Falmouth to become regional cruise destination
Jamaica’s Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett, has indicated the Port of Falmouth in the northern parish of Trelawny is poised to become a model regional cruise shipping destination. This augurs well for Jamaica’s tourism industry to exponentially record additional growth.
$190 million spent
Bartlett said, to date, the Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF) has spent approximately J$190 million to undertake projects in Falmouth. “We are also working in collaboration with local stakeholders and Government agencies. We are relocating vendors to more strategic locations, painting buildings, taking the mentally ill and homeless off the streets, establishing visitor centers, and increasing the number of district constables in the town to help keep crime in check,” he added.
Town will be better place
Against this background, Bartlett contends that not only does the port have the potential to be one of the finest cruise shipping destinations globally, “but the town will also be a place where visitors will want to travel miles to see.
“When we are through with the development plans for Falmouth, it will be the undisputed pearl of the Caribbean. We have taken note of the concerns of visitors that when they exit the port there has not been much to see on the outside. That will change when the $1.1 billion worth of (additional) projects kick in,” the minister stated.
Falmouth leads in cruise ship arrivals
Minister Bartlett was speaking at the Falmouth Heritage Expo and launch of the Heritage Map of Jamaica last week. He also noted the Port of Falmouth continues to lead the way with cruise passenger arrivals. These arr4ivals totaled 48,910 in August, representing a 5.4 per cent increase.
He said the continued presence of Royal Caribbean’s Oasis class vessels; Harmony of the Seas, Oasis of the Seas and Allure of the Seas; as proof of the cruise-line’s sustained commitment to Falmouth and, by extension, Jamaica as a preferred destination.
“We can all recall earlier in the year when there were concerns raised as it relates to ships being…rerouted from the Falmouth Port. Well, not only are the ships still here, but we will also be seeing an additional 68 calls, representing almost 190,000 more passengers,” the minister said.
Anti-visitor harassment program
Bartlett indicated that in preparation for increase, the Government has further ramped up the town’s anti-visitor harassment program, resulting in significant safety improvements in Falmouth and surrounding areas.
“We are all aware of the important role cruise shipping plays and also the contribution Falmouth is making to the cruise sector. What we are doing is build out the town and port infrastructure, and improving the visitor experience so when the cruise ships dock, there is good reason for visitors to disembark,” he added.
For more on the Falmouth redevelopment click the link: Falmouth Invasion to clean up resort town