Bartlett sees boost for cruises to FalmouthTuesday, November 16, 2021
KINGSTON, Jamaica — Minister of Tourism, Edmund Bartlett, said that the failure to have more Jamaicans benefit from the visit of Carnival Corporation's Emerald Princess to Falmouth last Sunday was not deliberate.
The minister consoled residents of the town that over time with improvements, including opening up of the $700-million artisan village, which is the first facility under a signature project to further improve the Jamaican brand, and more opportunities for contact with cruise visitors to Trelawny.
He said that while there may be concerns about benefits from the visit of the Emerald Princess to the town on Sunday, the ministry was ensuring that these benefits spread across the parish and allow more tourism partners to become involved.
“I want to say to the partners who may not have had a benefit: You will have a report that says some of us didn't get, because it is not possible for everyone to get. But, the effort is there to enable, over time, all of us,” Bartlett told the House of Representatives.
The arrival of the Carnival Corporation Emerald Princess provided an opportunity for the soft launch of the Artisan Village, which is housed at Hampden Wharf with 10 artisans.
“When we establish the artisan village, for example, it is part of that design to make sure that all our partners are involved,” he added.
Asked by Opposition Member of Parliament, Julian Robinson, whether some local residents did not go to the village because it was not designated, Bartlett said that was not an issue.
“Not at all. It wasn't that they weren't compliant,” he answered, noting that most of the visitors had done pre-purchases of the attractions they wished to visit before they came to Jamaica.
“So when you have a large flow you have a better chance of more visitors circulating around the area, bearing in mind what the situation is like. I just want to make the point that the objective is to ensure that everyone is taken care of, at all times,” the minister said.
He recalled that Falmouth was hosting its first cruise ship in 20 months, and berthed at the port with 2,870 of the maximum 3,500 tourists/staff members that it is able to cruise with. The Celebrity Equinox, Aida Diva and Crystal Serenity are expected to return to Falmouth later this month. Disney Cruise Lines' flagship vessel Disney Fantasy is scheduled to visit in December.
Asked by Robinson about the effect of the States of Emergency (SOEs) on the visit, Bartlett said that his ministry is constantly relating to its partners in the tourism industry, and ensuring that the matter of enhanced security protection for visitors is a feature of their sales arrangements.
“We have to take strong steps in the country, and it is understood in the context of what we want to do,” Bartlett said.
“We take steps ahead of the game. Other destinations in the region that we compete with, unfortunately, they wait until the action reach them and then they take steps. I want to give commendation to the Prime Minister and the Minister of National Security for being proactive, and leave the message in the market is that Jamaica is being proactive.
“We are protecting you from any future (problems). When we see it happening, we cauterize. We go there ahead of it so that when you arrive in Jamaica, you are safe, secure and you have a seamless experience,” he explained.