This project, funded by TUI Care Foundation, aims to stimulate the sustainable economic growth of the market, enabling the craft market traders to earn a living from tourism. To do this, we aim to increase the number of tourist visits and improve income from sales.
Why? A declining number of visitors at Harbour Street Craft Market has resulted in falling sales, affecting the livelihoods of the 256 local market traders.
Our research with tourism suppliers, traders and visitors has pointed to four key challenges for the market, that we aim to address:
- To improve the relationship between tourists and traders.
- To meet visitor and industry expectations:
- To ensure continued support for the traders.
- To improve the marketing and management/governance of the markets
Bringing stakeholders together: We have engaged the local parish council, mayor, local and international tour operators, and the Jamaican Tourism Product Development Company to support the project.
We are training traders to enable them to:
- Meet market needs, so that the products they sell are attractive to tourists.
- Approach tourists without hassling them, so that tourists are not deterred from visiting the market.
- Strengthen their business skills, so that they ensure the sustained profitability of their businesses
- Make use of opportunities to buy and sell locally-made craft products, to spread the benefits to the wider community.
We are also training members of the local parish council and craft trader association executives who run the craft market to enable them to support the sustainable economic growth of the market in the future.
Our strategic approach to this project is to train government tourism trainers so that the benefits can be spread to other craft markets in the country.
Engaging the tourism industry
We are encouraging local and international tour operators to send their customers to the market. Feedback from tour operators and their customers on the quality of the products and the overall experience will be an important part of the project evaluation.
Plus, volunteers from international tour operator, TUI, are inputting to workshops for the craft market traders to share their market insights.
The development of the market will not only benefit the local traders, but also tour operators, local hotels and other tourism businesses by enhancing the holiday experience of their customers. Our intention is to support the market to become a highly valued attraction for visitors, adding to the unique appeal of Montego Bay as a destination.