Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Barlett, says construction of the Artisan Village at the Hampden Wharf in Falmouth, Trelawny, will be completed by the end of next month.
The Minister, who spoke to journalists after a tour of the site on October 17, said the project was delayed, “but we have been assured that we will have the facilities completed by the end of November.
“Hopefully (by) the start of the winter activities …we would be able to at least have the facilities ready for artisans and entrepreneurs to come in,” Mr. Bartlett said.
The artisan village, which will be the first on the island, forms part of the US$5.7 million Hampden Wharf Development Project, being funded by the Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF).
Mr. Bartlett noted that the village will provide a unique marketing arrangement for artisans and craft entrepreneurs, as well as give visitors an opportunity to experience something new.
“This is something new (and) different…because it offers an opportunity for marketing, while at the same time having expressions of the rich culture that Jamaica has to offer,” the Minister said.
“This is a real opportunity to take to another level the quality of (Jamaica’s) offerings and to lift the spend of the tourists who come to the island,” he added.
Meanwhile, Executive Director of the TEF, Dr. Carey Wallace, said he is pleased that the project is almost complete, adding that the village will enhance the island as a tourist destination, and cruise passengers will have something unique to look forward to when they visit.
Dr. Wallace said the village will “inspire Jamaicans to know that they can participate in tourism, they can get piece of the tourism pie, and this is how we are polishing it off.”
“We are giving them access to the tourists directly, which is right here on the pier, for them to have the opportunity to create wealth from the talent that they have. So, that’s what we are creating here and I believe it will be transformative for our industry,” he said.
The village will consist of 47 shops with five themed restaurants and bars; 12 mini stalls, 18 artisan shops and 12 major shops on 1.6 hectares of land owned by the Port Authority of Jamaica.
Other features of the Hampden Wharf Development Project include extension of the port, paved surfaces and defined paths, landscaped areas, storyboards where applicable, and adaptive reuse of historic buildings.