Falmouth is 'cruising' again
Emerald Princess arrives with 1,700 passengers, 1,719 crew membersMonday, November 15, 2021
BY HORACE HINES
FALMOUTH, Trelawny – Yesterday morning's arrival of the Emerald Princess at the Falmouth port – the first since March 2020 – was described by Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett as a boost to the recovery of the sector which is set to welcome 75,000 cruise arrivals during the next two months.
The Emerald Princess arrived in the Falmouth port with 1,700 passengers and 1,719 crew members on board.
“The arrival of this vessel today (yesterday) in port brings another phase of the resumption of cruise tourism which will see more than 75,000 cruise passengers coming to Jamaica between now and the end of December. And, to start a winter season that could see approximately 300,000 coming overall for cruise,” Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett told the Jamaica Observer yesterday in a telephone interview.
He added: “This will enable the industry to bounce back and the partners — transportation, shopping, which includes craft vendors and so on, back in business.”
However, the tourism minister pointed out that it is not a full recovery and so “our stakeholders must not take their eye off the critical protocols that are essential to have a sustainable recovery programme”.
He underscored the importance of stakeholders getting vaccinated and tested for COVID-19 to guarantee a successful rebound of the sector.
“We are not out of the woods. Vaccination and testing are going to have a feature of our management process as we move forward. I am urging stakeholders to comply with the requirements of the protocols and to get vaccinated as it is going to be increasingly difficult for participation of unvaccinated and untested players,” the tourism minister urged.
“Cruise tourism is the most sensitive to health and other disruptions. And it doesn't take much for redeployment of cruise ships to other destinations if Jamaicans are not compliant. We just want everybody to know that this is not over, we have a long way to go.”
Yesterday, vistors got a glimpse of what the $700-million artisan village, located next door the port, will offer when it is officially opened early next year.
Some 10 of the 42 artisans who will operate from the facility were on display yesterday.
“We are delayed in rolling out the artisan village and our board has asked us to expand opportunities for showing our visitors what to expect at the artisan village. So this occasion, the first ship coming to Falmouth since March of 2020, we are doing what we call a pop up where we are showcasing 10 of the artisans who will be taking shops actually at the artisan village to offer Jamaicans and visitors a taste of what they are likely to expect when the village opens,” Carol Rose Brown, director of Jamaica Centre of Tourism Innovative/Craft Development Institute — a division of Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF) – told reporters at the facility yesterday.
The Falmouth facility, which is Jamaica's first artisan village, is an immersive attraction created by The Port Authority of Jamaica at a cost of $700 million with funds from the TEF at the old Hampden Wharf building in the town.
The unique attraction, which will portray the unique history of Falmouth, will accommodate small and medium-sized enterprises that offer locals and visitors, entertainment, cuisine, art, craft, and culture.