Cruise expansion to increase revenue stream – Bartlett
Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett said craft traders and artisans operating at the four craft markets in Montego Bay, St James will be able to make more money from cruise passengers when the expansion of the Montego Bay Cruise shipping pier is completed.
"The expansion of the cruise for Montego Bay is on stream, the port is being expanded, as you can see, to accommodate the largest ship that carnival makes that is to come in 2020," Bartlett said, during his tour of the Harbour Street, Old Fort, Holiday Inn and Success craft markets in Montego Bay, last Friday.
"The AIDA (cruise lines) is also going to bring their largest ship with 6,000 (passengers) to come, also during the period, so we have to prepare ourselves for the expansion and the larger volume that's going to come to us."
The expansion of the Montego Bay Cruise shipping pier, which is being carried out on some 280,000 square feet of land space in the Montego Freeport, is being done at a cost of $184 million.
"We are going to have to start marketing (the country's craft markets) through CLIA (Cruise Lines International Association). We have not been engaging them, so we are going start to engage CLIA so that all our markets will be on their schedule," Bartlett told the craft traders.
"It's going to cost the ministry a little to do because nothing is free, but we are going to have to do that, so that will help to position you (craft traders and artisans) onboard the ships before they come, so that people will know where they are going."
FIRST VILLAGE IN FALMOUTH
The CLIA is the world's largest cruise industry trade association, providing a unified voice and leading authority of the global cruise community. CLIA supports policies and practices that foster a safe, secure, healthy and sustainable cruise ship environment and is dedicated to promoting the cruise travel experience.
In regards to the creation of artisan villages across the island, Bartlett said that project is on track and he is expecting that they will add an extra dimension to Jamaica's tourism.
"We are doing the first one in Falmouth, where you can see the value of it first and if it works beautifully, then we can replicate it everywhere else," Bartlett said. "Falmouth is the first to show how it can be structured and how we can bring everybody right next to the ship, so that when they (cruise passengers) come off the ship, they don't have to drive anywhere to come to you, they come straight to you. We are all in this thing together, we are not in it for you to lose. It doesn't give us any joy to hear that you are not making any money."