With the designation, Falmouth will become the island’s fifth resort town, joining Portland, Ocho Rios, Montego Bay, Negril and Kingston.
Mr. Atkinson, who spoke to JIS News, during a tour of the Trelawny capital yesterday, said the designation will provide for the establishment of a resort board for the area.
Resort boards facilitate consultation among tourism stakeholders and they also ensure that the process of developing resort areas is managed properly.
“You will only have a resort board, if we were declared a resort. This is one of the things I propose to advocate for,” Mr. Atkinson told JIS News.
He noted, however, that “certain infrastructural and social issues in the town have to addressed in a fundamental way,” in order Falmouth to be declared a resort town.
As such, he said, the pending relocation of the Falmouth Market, popularly called “bend down” forms part of efforts to correct certain issues, which would prevent Falmouth from being given resort status.
“This is one of the things that makes the relocation of the market absolutely important and critical, because with a market being virtually at the entrance of the pier, you can’t use the special regulations that you have as a resort area in these circumstances. To declare it a resort area would be a waste of time, because you cannot regulate a produce market; you can’t regulate a bend down market,” he contended.
Mr. Atkinson said once the existing market is closed, he will be asking the Minister of Tourism and Entertainment, Hon. Dr. Wykeham McNeill, to draft the necessary legislation to declare the area a tourist resort.
“It is not something that will take a long time like regular pieces of legislation. It just takes a resolution in Parliament,” Mr. Atkinson pointed out.