• JIS News

    Attorney General and Member of Parliament for Northern Trelawny, Patrick Atkinson, is looking to put measures in place to improve the tourism product in the parish.

    He said the aim is to transform Falmouth into the "new tourist centre of Jamaica," to attract visitors in greater numbers so as to boost the economy, creating jobs and business opportunities.

    Mr. Atkinson, who was making his contribution to the 2012/13 Sectoral Debate in the House of Representatives recently, stated that while Falmouth "is one of the leading cruise ship destinations in this region of the world," the town and the parish in general "are not benefitting anywhere as near as they should for this significant numbers of tourist arrival at the pier."

    This, he said, is due to the fact as visitors do not spend enough time in the parish as they are transported to attractions in other parishes.

    "I cannot allow that status quo to continue for much longer. I recognize that we need to create an environment in Trelawny, which will entice a significant number of cruise ship visitors to remain in Trelawny for the benefit of Trelawny's economic welfare. When they come, we need to intrigue them, to give them such a good time that they will return to enjoy our community from our hotel rooms, not just as transitory cruise ship visitors," the Attorney General said.

    He outlined that the first thing that needs to be done is to give Falmouth a well-needed facelift and clean up, noting that funding exists for that purpose through the Petro Caribe fund.

    "The drains in the town… must be cleaned and covered with walkways or sidewalks," Mr. Atkinson said.

    He noted further that the market needs to be re-built, and a transportation centre established, so that the area around the pier will be devoid of motorised traffic.

    In the meantime, Mr. Atkinson said with the construction of the Harmony Cove hotel scheduled to commence at the end of this year or early next year, and the planned construction of hundreds of new homes by private developers as well as affordable government-sponsored homes in places such as Hague, there is going to be a need for trained construction workers. 

    "Trelawny must be ready to fill that demand, so I propose to initiate discussions with the Ministry of Education, HEART Trust/NTA and the Brown's Town Community College with a view to training a cadre of such workers – masons, carpenters, electricians, steel workers, and plumbers," Mr. Atkinson said.

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