Falmouth To Get Craft Market
by Shamir Brown (Jan 23, 2013)
This historic Georgian town of Falmouth, Trelawny's tourist capital, is to have a craft market by the middle of 2013.
This was disclosed by Mayor of Falmouth, Garth Wilkinson in an interview with the Western Mirror newspaper. An existing building by the Falmouth Port will be renovated to accommodate vendors and their craft items for sale to the thousands of cruise ship passengers who now visit that town on a weekly basis.
Adjustment to the building will include a new roof as the existing one is lined with carcinogen causing asbestos.
Mayor Wilkinson disclosed that the Port Authority had recently signed off on an agreement to do this, and work should commence soon at a cost of 8 million Jamaican dollars.
The new craft market will house 50 vendors. Persons who had previously plied their trade at Bamboo Village will be given priority as the venture is also intended to allow for their relocation.
The mayor said the gesture was being spurred by the sense of lawlessness gripping the town. He explained that recently, especially with persons selling in front of the cruise ship pier, indiscipline had crept in, and in some cases, criminal elements threaten the tourism product that Falmouth has to offer.
"It is expected that wen the facility is completed, all the street vending will cease in the town, as we believe it's one
of the main reasons Falmouth benefits so little from the cruise ship passengers", he noted.
He pointed out that Falmouth has a 90% disembarking rate for cruise ships that dock there, yet only 5 percent remain in the town and in fact the parish.
"At this rate, Falmouth will see a ship come in pert and no benefits are derived for its residents, " he bemoaned.
The craft market is part of bigger plans to get a bigger slice of the tourist dollars, and involves the business community. There is also a move to relocate business from in front the port, to a location beside the Falmouth Court House.
"Not everybody is comfortable with hagglers in their faces, and when passengers wishing to come into the town see this waiting at the gate, they tend to go back on the ship, or take a bus to an outer parish attraction", he explained.
Some passengers, he observed, also get fearful when they look from their ship at the gate and see police officers standing guard, and thus will not come into town.
Mayor Wilkinson expects that soon there will be a free flow of traffic into the town, with persons being able to view the different historical sights. There is also a push to get visitors to visit other areas in Trelawny such as as Windsor Caves, as well as the Cockpit Country.
Source: The Western Mirror