FALMOUTH, Trelawny, Jamaica – Minister of Tourism Edmund Bartlett is projecting that in light of current plans to transform Falmouth into a premiere regional destination, cruise arrivals to the town’s port should rise to 1.5 million by 2021. Efforts to boost the number of cruise ships that call on the historic port of Falmouth are to play a pivotal role in achieving this goal.
The town boasts the largest cruise ship pier in the Caribbean and according to Minister Bartlett, “that means Falmouth has the capacity to become the largest distributor of cruise passengers in any given destination within the region.”
Minister Bartlett recently toured the port with numerous stakeholders including representatives from the Port Authority of Jamaica (PAJ), the Trelawny Parish Council, civic and political leaders and the Trelawny Chamber of Commerce. Also present were representatives from the Ministry of Tourism, TEF and the Tourism Product Development Company (TPDCo).
With the renewal of the town high on the ministry’s agenda, Minister Bartlett is upbeat that Falmouth can have more and larger ships visiting the port and consequently a larger volume of visitors.
Statistics indicate that Falmouth is currently hosting just under a million cruise passengers annually and the tourism minister says, “that has to grow.” He notes that “the town’s role in the national growth programme is well defined” and he has projected that the number of calls on the port will be increased from once or twice per week to four days weekly.
Minister Bartlett emphasized that the growth in cruise arrivals is key to meeting the goals which have been set for the tourism sector to earn US$5 billion for the economy, while attracting five million visitors by 2021. He said “in light of the goals we have set, by 2021 Falmouth is expected to contribute 1.5 million cruise passengers and be earning of US$180 million or J$ 2 billion from tourism spend in the town. This will entail increasing the average spend by each cruise passenger to US$120, up from the $90 now being spent.”
He reiterated that “the Ministry has committed some $1.4 Billion through the Tourism Enhancement Fund to transform Falmouth by 2018 and these transformational projects will bring more attractions to the town and enable greater expenditure by the visitors.”
The Minister outlined that on a planned visit to China in September, the possibility of having Chinese cruises emanating from Jamaica and going to the rest of the Caribbean region will be explored.