Investments in hotel infrastructure totalling some US$625 million is expected to be made in the greater Falmouth area of Trelawny, for the construction of three new properties and one expansion over the next few years.
Speaking at the Friends of Falmouth symposium held at the Major Owens Wellness Centre in Brooklyn New York, Consul General to New York, Alsion Wilson said, Trelawny currently has approximately six large hotels and a total capacity of 3,906 beds.
“These exciting additions, including establishments like Harmony Cove with 1,000 rooms, Planet Hollywood Royalton with 650 rooms, RIU Aquarelle with 753 rooms, and Excellence Oyster Bay with 50 new rooms, will bring the total number of hotel rooms in the Trelawny area to an impressive 3,700,” Wilson said.
She noted that the historic town is expected to benefit from renewed investments in near-port activities, aimed at fostering greater integration between the town and the port.
“These initiatives are designed to enhance the overall attractiveness of Falmouth to both cruise and land-based visitors, ensuring a vibrant and engaging experience for all,” the Consul General stated.
Mrs. Wilson also informed that Port Authority of Jamaica (PAJ) is committed to repositioning the historic Falmouth port, to leverage the current boom in the fiercely competitive global cruise market.
“This involves significant investments in new projects and infrastructure. One notable undertaking is the development of a new township on 50 acres of reclaimed land adjacent to the port. This environmentally friendly and people-focused township will complement the town’s existing Georgian origins, while embracing a modern vision,” she stated.
“The socio-economic benefits brought about by the port’s establishment, have been truly remarkable. Over the past ten years, the port has welcomed around seven million passengers, averaging approximately 550,000 passengers annually, excluding the challenging years of 2020 and 2021 due to the global Covid-19 pandemic. Such numbers signify the immense potential of the Falmouth port as a catalyst for economic growth and development in the region,” the Consul General added.
According to the Jamaica Tourist Board’s Annual Travel Statistics, the average spends per cruise passenger increased from US$71 in 2011 to US$100 in 2020.
Mrs. Wilson said this upward trend reflects the growing attractiveness of Falmouth as a destination, and highlights the economic benefits experienced by local businesses and entrepreneurs.
She urged members of the Trelawny Diaspora to “unite to lobby for the preservation of this historical town, collaborating with citizens and city officials alike to ensure that the essence of Falmouth remains intact”.
“By doing so, we can guarantee that future generations will have the opportunity to explore and appreciate the remarkable cultural heritage that Falmouth offers,” the Consul General said.
She also urged the Friends of Falmouth Symposium to look at, among other things, how to ensure the parish of Trelawny can benefit and continue its economic climb.
“I implore you to identify avenues for linkages between farmers and the growing hotel sector. Ensure that residents are trained to take advantage of new employment opportunities at all levels and not just low skilled jobs. You who are from Falmouth have a duty to ensure that you get involved,” Wilson said.
The Friends of Falmouth symposium and brunch was held as part of the annual Trelawny reunion weekend.
To compliment the symposium and brunch, Friends of Falmouth also launched a mega fundraising raffle in aid of the Falmouth Infant School, for which the grand prize is a seven-night stay for two, at the all-inclusive Jewel Grande Montego Bay Resort and Spa.