The development of the first artisan village at the old Hampden Wharf in Falmouth, Trelawny, is 95 per cent complete.
“We are theming it and we hope that we’ll have it open in short order,” said Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett.
He was speaking with journalists on Tuesday (February 8) at the Global Tourism Resilience and Crisis Management Centre (GTRCMC), University of the West Indies (UWI), Mona.
Minister Bartlett said that the village will provide a location for artisans and entrepreneurs to produce and sell authentic Jamaican products.
He noted that visitors will have an opportunity to leave a design with an artisan and pay and collect the finished product later.
Minister Bartlett said that visitors will also be able to enjoy entertainment and food within the village, allowing for “a complete [cultural] experience”.
He said that the proximity of the village to the Falmouth cruise ship pier, makes it “easy for cruise passengers to traverse the area… and not have to worry about transportation… they just walk into it”.
Minister Bartlett cited measures put in place to develop and support artisans.
“We established the Jamaica Craft Development Institute, which works with the Edna Manley School of the Visual and Performing Arts to train artisans in the streets and in communities to broaden their horizon for creative output and to enable a more authentic and autochthonous product flow,” he said.
He noted further that small traders and operators in the industry can access a $1-billion loan facility, established by the National Export Import Bank of Jamaica (EXIM Bank).
Borrowers can access up to $25 million at an interest rate of 4.5 per cent annually with over five years to repay.