Falmouth, considered by many as one of the Caribbean’s finest example of a colonial Georgian town, is Jamaica’s newest tourist resort. This town was given resort status in September 2005 which is seen as a strategic move in light of major development plans for the parish of Trelawny of which it is capital.
The historical facade of Falmouth with its rustic architecture; beautiful Georgian structures, remnants of the colonial past, and its almost sleepy disposition, makes it an anachronism as it located between two bustling metropolitan resorts, Montego Bay in the west and Ocho Rios in the east. Falmouth is also well positioned along a major highway connecting the major resort towns, and it is in close proximity to an international airport and a cruise ship pier.
The granting of resort status to Falmouth is timely, as the parish of Trelawny is poised for major multi-million dollar development;--Harmony Cove, a 1000 room upscale hotel expansion, and the new Greenfield Stadium which will host the opening ceremony for Cricket World Cup 2007. The town's development will also fall within TPDCo’s heritage development thrust.
These major developments will provide a stimulus for wide-ranging opportunities in the areas of accommodatations, attractions development, entertainment and transportation. Opportunities for employment will also be an added benefit.
Portlanders began this Winter Tourist Season (December 15-April 15) on a high note with the arrival of the first of thirteen cruise ships. Some 13,000 passengers are expected to visit the town during the season, spending in the region of $180 million. The town’s people are busy getting their town and its attractions in shape to deal with the influx of visitors over the period, as they begin implementation of a three-year development plan for Portland, spearheaded by TPDCo. Projects to be completed on a phased basis include:
The beautification of Cenotaph square
- Painting of buildings in the commercial district
- The upgrading of facilities at the Musgrave Market for both visitors and locals to patronize local craftspeople and fruit vendors
- Upgrading of the facilities for rafting on the Rio Grande as well as training and uniform provision for the rafts men
- Establishment of a Travel Halt at Boston Jerk Centre
- A Heritage Tour to Folly Ruins
- A Walking tour of Titchfield Hill
- Improvements to facilities at Boston Beach and Long Bay Beach
Appropriate signage at major entrances to the towns, roadways, at attractions and places of interest, and the establishment of information kiosks for visitors, will also form part of the upgrading of the town. Residents are being trained as tour guides and tourism ambassadors.The programme which will be implemented over a four-year period is being funded jointly by the Inter-American Development Bank, The Global Environment Facility and the Government of Jamaica.
TPDCo is working to set the tone for improved interaction between the relevant agencies, local authorities and stakeholders in the community to facilitate these improvements, build commitment, and create ownership.
SOUTH COAST SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMME
A draft project document has been completed for the South Coast Sustainable Development Programme and is now awaiting budgetary support for implementation.
The programme aims to meet the economic, social and cultural needs of the people of the South Coast, through a strategy of sustainable and orderly development, in the areas of:
Tourism development and environmental management which respects the unique natural resources of the South Coast, and Fisheries Management to preserve the biological diversity of the area, and to sustain the social and economic benefits to those communities active in the fisheries sector.
The tourism development plan will span the restoration of Black River to a heritage theme town, community-based tourism development, and the development of a heritage trail in the project area.
More on South Coast Development Studies...
Tourism Technical Report
Cultural Heritage Tourism Technical Report