Ten newly appointed tour guides participated in an awards and closing ceremony on Tuesday, September 26, after completing a two week training in Team Jamaica and Tour Guiding skills.
The appointment of the tour guides in the Falmouth area is one of the initiatives to curb visitor harassment in Falmouth. The programme, namely the Falmouth Guide Services was created through the efforts of Dr. Horace Change, Minister without portfolio, Economic Growth and Job Creation who is also the Chairman of the Falmouth Re-Development Committee along with the partnership of the Tourism Product Development Company Ltd. (TPDCo) which provided Team Jamaica and Tour Guide training for the graduates.
Minister Chang, the visionary for the Falmouth Guide Services programme, expressed his commitment to redevelop Falmouth by way of improving cruise shipping which has an impact on the tourism sector, and will provide job opportunities for Jamaicans. “You have made Falmouth what it is, and it is only appropriate that you can participate in the economic activity that gives you a sense of involvement and the monetary benefits that come along with it.” He told the graduates during his address.
Dr. Andrew Spencer, Executive Director of TPDCo charged the graduates to perform their duties with due diligence as they contribute to the growth and development of the tourism sector. “As tour guides you have the responsibility to educate both the visitors and locals about the importance of the industry. You have a responsibility to talk about the history, the heritage, culture and what is unique and diverse about us as a people.” He said.
The Falmouth Guide Services programme is the first of many initiatives by Minister Chang to redevelop Falmouth. Some of the other projects include improving the craft traders’ area, sensitizations and consultations with stakeholders, increase in public health inspections and a security system attached to the Municipal Corporation to assist in the efforts to curb harassment.
The activities surrounding the redevelopment of Falmouth are envisioned to benefit the capital town and the country. Tourism represents a key element of growth in the area, as Falmouth is known for its busy cruise port and unique Georgian style architecture, features which Minister Chang plans to utilize to attract more visitors. The plans to redevelop Falmouth will include partnerships with agencies such as the Port Authority, the Municipal Corporation of Falmouth, the Urban Development Commission (UDC) and TPDCo.