The coming together of former residents of Falmouth to pool their resources and talents towards the improvement of their hometown, “tells me that you are serious about taking action in Falmouth to preserve the community and keep it active and it tells me that you are serious about protecting the natural and cultural history of this beautiful town,” Bryan Smart said.
Delivering the keynote address at the official launching ceremony of the New York-based Friends of Falmouth at the Jamaica Consulate in Manhattan on April 12, 2019 Mrs Bryant Smart pointed out that it is important that Falmouth is preserved, particularly as the town has been identified as a key area for the development of Jamaica’s tourism product.
“The government, in particular the Ministry of Tourism, has partnered with the Organization of American States (OAS), under the auspices of the Sustainable Destination Alliance of America Initiative, to position Falmouth as a sustainable tourist destination.
She further stated that under this initiative, a variety of activities have been undertaken to boost civic pride in Falmouth as well as foster cultural and economic innovation.
Bryan Smart told the audience of about 90 people gathered for the launch at the consulate that “Fi Wi Falmouth,” a US$4 million pilot public education project designed to to instill civic pride, increase awareness of the importance of tourism in general, and to Falmouth in particular, is a just one of the many projects that are part of the “Spruce Up Jamaica” project.
She added that some 50 micro business operators within Falmouth will be targeted for training in areas of customer service, culture, sensitivity, self-development, business basics and the history of Falmouth.
She added that the “Fi Wi” initiative will be replicated across other resort towns in Jamaica.
Falmouth is an “attractive destination with much to see and experience,” Bryan Smart told the crowd. “The rich history, Georgian architecture and many attractions make it a major tourism asset.”
The historic, she said, has a “critical role to play” in the Jamaica’s growth strategy as it seeks to attract some 5 million visitors, generating US$5 billion in tourism earnings, increasing total direct jobs to 125,000 and adding 15,000 new hotel rooms by 2021.
Mrs. Bryant Smart said Falmouth has the potential to be one of finest cruise ship destination on the planet, as the three largest cruise ships in the world call at the Falmouth Port.
The government, she said, will be leveraging the heritage experience in Falmouth to further develop the town as a tourist destination. She added that to date, the tourism enhancement fund has spent some $190 million on completed projects in Falmouth, which includes the renovation of Trelawny Parish Church, the Falmouth post office, the courthouse and Water Square. The government is to spend an additional $1.1 billion on other projects that are now on stream in Falmouth, which includes the artisan village at Hampden Wharf, she said.
“Tourism is good for Falmouth and it is good for Jamaica. It generates income, provide jobs, and help communities and national economies to grow,” Bryant Smart said.
In outlining the vision and mission for Friends of Falmouth, Michael Wattkis, president, said the group plans to work with key stakeholders throughout The parish and it’s Diaspora promoting the ongoing developments. A key aspect of its mission will be advocacy for and on behalf of the local residents to be included as investors, preparation and training to meet the demands foreseen.
The Falmouth Diaspora is noted to be one of the most vocal and passionate and as such We will garner all these enthusiasm, pride, cheerleaders and patriotism to positively work towards a vision of Falmouth the best township in the entire world.
“We are very passionate about Falmouth. We believe that Falmouth the economic engine of the parish,” Wattkis said. “Our vision is aligned with government of Jamaica which is touting Falmouth as a next major hub for tourism and other businesses.”
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