Jamaica’s Minister of Tourism, the Honorable Edmund Bartlett, addressed stakeholders during a tour of the Trench Town community recently, and shared that he intends to place the town high on the agenda when he meets with representatives from major cruise lines, in an effort to bring more visitors to the city.
The Minister also revealed that he will be providing well-needed assistance to stakeholders in Trench Town as they seek to make improvements to the area to position it as the premier community-tourism destination in Kingston.
“When I went to the Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association to speak to them about cruise development in Jamaica, particularly in Kingston, the first question they asked was ‘what does Kingston have?’ I told them I will come back to you with the details of Kingston’s many offerings and in the interim; you prepare to send us more ships. So, I am going back to see them at the global Seatrade conference in March and Trench Town will be included in my report,” he said.
Among the many plans stakeholders have for redevelopment is the creation of fine and applied art pieces across the town, by renowned artist Scheed Cole, CEO of 360 Recycle-Manufacturing Company.
“A lot can take place in Trench Town because of the availability of space. Collie Smith Drive, for example has an island in the middle, which I think can become an attraction. We can create a green space and culinary park, with art being the centerpiece within this space. When you apply art to something it has the ability to take your breath away,” said Cole.
Nora Blake, CEO of JaMIN Tours, a new tour company based in Trench Town, shared that it is also their intention to reposition the way the town has been marketed by making it the gateway to the city.
“Kingston’s renewal and repositioning as a tourism center is made alive with community initiatives such as the ones being developed in Trench Town. You are preparing yourself for the experiences that the visitor wants. What Trench Town has succeeded in doing is to bring people, ideas and material value together at a price. Therefore, Trench Town is an experience,” said Minister Bartlett.
The Minister explained that Trench Town exemplified much of what he believes makes tourism in Jamaica special. He therefore urged other community tourism enterprises to follow suit, so that visitors can have a positive and unforgettable experience when they visit our shores.
“You represent an opportunity for replication across Jamaica. You represent something that tourism seeks to foster as it tries to be the agent for transformation, poverty alleviation and creative renewal,” he said.
High on the agenda of the Ministry to improve city tourism in Kingston is changing the perception that people have about the capital, while also assiduously working on the restoration and creation of key infrastructure. This, as the Ministry intends to increase the number of cruise arrivals to the port of Kingston in the upcoming months.