Montserrat’s Premier and Minister of Tourism, Honourable Joseph E. Farrell, led a multi-sector team to view potential locations for new tours.
The Premier was accompanied by the Permanent Secretary in the Office of the Premier, Mrs. Daphne Cassell; Director of Tourism, Warren Solomon; Product Development Officer Rosetta West-Gerald, and other Tourism Division staff; Director of the Montserrat Volcano Observatory (MVO), Dr. Graham Ryan; representatives of the Disaster Management Coordination Agency (DMCA) and the representatives from the Montserrat Tour and Taxi Association.
The group visited two areas on St. George’s Hill, and the Ministry of Agriculture’s main office prior to 1995 at The Groves.
Commenting on the significance of the site visits, Director of Tourism, Warren Solomon said, “Our visit to sites on St George’s Hill and to The Grove in Plymouth were with a view to enhancing Montserrat’s product offerings. St George’s Hill must be the most pore-raising site on the island due to the amazing views of the Soufriere Hills Volcano and the sense of proximity that one can experience from that vantage point.”
Mr. Solomon further stated that, “The Tourism Division shares the view of our local tour operators that this would be an awesome site for visitors to visit and we look forward to working with all of the relevant agencies to make this a reality.”
Government’s Public Relations Officer Jenzil Skerritt, was also present and reported that the tour allowed officials to see the proposed areas first hand, record observations, assess the feasibility of including them as new tourist attractions, and identifying wat improvements would be needed at each location.
It is the Government of Montserrat’s intention to pursue an application for Plymouth to become a World Heritage Site.
The Tourism Master Plan and Tourism Strategy both point to having Plymouth recognized as a UNESCO Heritage Site. To be included on the World Heritage List, sites must be of outstanding universal value and meet at least one out of ten selection criteria. Of the ten criteria listed, Mr. Solomon said Montserrat fits squarely into category eight and may also be considered under categories four and six:
- Category 4: To be an outstanding example of a type of building, architectural or technological ensemble or landscape which illustrates (a) significant stage(s) in human history.
- Category 6: To be directly or tangibly associated with events or living traditions, with ideas, or with beliefs, with artistic and literary works of outstanding universal significance.
- Category 8: To be outstanding examples representing major stages of earth’s history, including the record of life, significant on-going geological processes in the development of landforms, or significant geomorphic or physiographic features
The Premier led trip into Plymouth was conducted on Friday August 14, 2020
Photos by PRO – Jenzil Skerritt