By Fabian Samuels, General Manager
As a tourism attraction in Portland (the highest waterfall in Jamaica), our team at Nonsuch Falls has benefitted in many ways from our participation in the Big Up Small Business booster programme over the last few years.
For example, our business operations have been enhanced by what we’ve learned on the programme, including building new products and activities such as axe throwing (“Kiss Mi Axe”), a concession stand for refreshments and a campsite (“Camping Pon Di Falls”) which we developed through our winning entry to a booster programme product design competition. These new offers have led to a strong spike in online traffic and telephone inquiries. In particular, we’ve had such a positive response to the camping offer that we’ve constructed a second separate camping ground to accommodate the demand, which has been particularly strong from the domestic market. We’ve also created a new pricing structure to cater for guests with their own camping gear as well as those who prefer to rent.
We’ve also been working hard on our business structure and working through an action plan with the support of the booster programme. For example, we’ve made lots of upgrades to the trail to the falls, including adding stairs and railings to halve the time for guests to safely make the steep descent to the bottom of the falls. We regularly post our progress online and repeat guests have shown much excitement about returning to see the completed works.
The booster programme has also helped set up various training sessions to equip our staff with valuable tools to enhance the 5-star customer experience recognized in the majority of our Google reviews. For staff and management this has been a remarkable experience that we continue to uphold to the highest standards moving forward.
Despite challenges, the Nonsuch Falls team is excited for the future, believing in endless possibilities for developing the site as a world class destination for Jamaicans as a historical cultural hub and for overseas guests seeking a local experience. International visitors are really interested in finding the raw unfabricated essence of Jamaican culture and we and other small tourism businesses are proud to play a major role in providing that unmistakable and authentic ‘Irie’ vibe.
Free resources for small and medium tourism enterprises can be downloaded from the Big Up Small Business website.