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Members of the tourism family take time to peruse the comic strip, 'The Adventures of Sprucey & Limey', which is part of a tourism public education programme dubbed 'Falmouth Pride', which was launched on August 18, 2016, in Falmouth, Trelawny. From left are Sheldon Headley, anti-harassment manager, Tourism Product Development Company Ltd (TPDCo); Robin Delisser, director, TPDCo; Charles Scarlett, director, visitor safety and experience at TPDCo; Clive Blair, superintendent in charge of Trelawny; Joy Roberts, acting executive director, TPDCo; and Evatt Bloomfield, chairman of the Montego Bay Resort Board and director of TPDCo. - Contributed

TPDCo launches 'Falmouth Pride' public education programme

The Tourism Product Development Company Ltd (TPDCo) last week launched its newest community initiative, dubbed 'Falmouth Pride", with the slogan 'Fi wi Falmouth, Fi wi Pride'.

A pilot of the tourism public education programme, it seeks to increase awareness of the importance of the sector and reduce harassment in Falmouth and, by extension, the parish of Trelawny.

The intention is to engage students at the primary and secondary levels so that they may learn and convey tourism information to their peers and family members, as well as to sensitise and build awareness among citizens' associations, neighbourhood watches and youth groups.

Fifty micro business operators will also be targeted for training in the areas of customer service, cultural sensitivity, self-development, business basics and the history of Falmouth.

Joy Roberts, acting executive director of the TPDCo, in outlining the strategies and tactics that will be employed for its success, said "the programme is being embarked on because of the prevailing perceptions of the industry by some residents of the parish. Some persons have no strong conviction that they are benefiting from the tourism product. In some instances, persons don't see the linkages. This initiative is intended to inform and educate persons about tourism and its many benefits, while encouraging positive attitudinal and behavioural changes towards the sector, the environment, locals and visitors alike."

VARIED COMPONENTS

The programme components include the distribution of an educational comic, The Adventures of Sprucey & Limey, designed by interns in the on-going Spruce Up Jamaica Tourism Summer Intern Programme, a quiz competition for primary-school students, focusing on the history of Trelawny, Jamaican attractions and places of interest with emphasis on Trelawny, tourism awareness, tourism organisations, civics, geography, customer service, environmental awareness, cultural awareness and Jamaican heritage. An art competition for high/secondary-school students with the theme 'Where does the tourist dollar go?' will also be launched at the start of the new school year.

An anti-harassment video, dubbed Cum Yah, will also be produced to promote the message of taking care of the tourism product and several community sensitisations are also planned. A 'Tourism Corner' will be established in libraries across the parish with relevant reading materials.

Funding for the programme has been provided by the Tourism Enhancement Fund, to the tune of $4 million.

The programme, which will run until March 2017, will see TPDCo collaborating with various stakeholders, including the Social Development Commission, through the Community Development Council; the Jamaica Constabulary Force, through the neighbourhood watches; the Resort Board; the Trelawny Library Service network of libraries; and other private-sector entities in the parish. 

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