Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, says the $700-million artisan village in Falmouth is the first facility under a signature project that will take brand Jamaica to “new stratospheric” heights.
Speaking to JIS News, Minister Bartlett noted that while the Trelawny capital is getting the first village, the country can expect to see similar structures at all the resort towns across the island.
Cruise passengers from the Emerald Princess, which docked at the Falmouth Port on November 14 to mark the return of cruise shipping to the coastal town, got the opportunity to tour the village.
“[They] got a prelude of what Jamaica’s first artisan village will be when the doors of the facility are officially open early next year,” Mr. Bartlett noted.
“It’s an idea that will change the way in which merchandising and presentation of our indigenous art is done, and particularly, Jamaican artisans will have an opportunity to produce in ideal conditions, but more so to get a greater value for their outputs,” he said.
Minister Bartlett contended that for years, Jamaica’s authentic and artistic talent has not been fully maximised or realised, and the artisan villages, starting with Falmouth, will be a game changer, putting the island and its tourism brand “in a league of our own”.
He said that the idea is to get all the creative talents under one roof, where patrons can see a diversity of products, providing them with more options to make purchases.
Director of the Jamaica Centre of Tourism Innovative/Craft Development Institute, Carol Rose Brown, who spoke to reporters during the tour, said that the artisan village will give visitors “a taste of Falmouth” and provide an incentive for them to spend quality time in the coastal town.
“So, [on] 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,” she told JIS News.
“This is a unique attraction that will offer an immersive experience that will not only tell the story of Falmouth but tell the story of Falmouth in a space where you can meet the most unique artisans in the region,” she noted.
“We believe this immersive experience, combined with entertainment and other kinds of details that will emerge, will make Falmouth a unique attraction,” she added.
The 10 artisans, who plied their wares at the village on Sunday, included craft traders, restauranters, beauty specialists and a vegan ice-cream maker.
The village, situated at the former Hampden Wharf, is themed to tell the story of Falmouth and offer Jamaicans and visitors an opportunity to share local food, drink, art, craft, and culture.
It is financed by the Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF) and forms part of the wider Hampden Wharf Development project and will be the first of a series of other similar facilities that will be in resort areas across the island.