‘Christmas in July’ 2017 a Success

Photo: Rudranath Fraser Tourism Minister, Hon. Edmund Bartlett (right), and Permanent Secretary in the Tourism Ministry, Jennifer Griffith (centre), admire a ceramic piece produced by Mustard Seed Ceramics at the ‘Christmas in July’ trade show held at The Pegasus hotel in New Kingston July 27. Looking on is Mustard Seed Ceramics’ Cheryl Mais.

Story Highlights

  • The event is held annually in a bid to encourage the purchase of more locally made products by stakeholders the hospitality sector and corporate Jamaica who are looking for suitable gifts for clients and staff.
  • Tourism Minister, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, who endorsed the initiative, said the overall goal is to encourage partnership that will build economic prosperity for Jamaica.
  •   Additionally, Mr. Bartlett said the items displayed represented an authentic expression of Jamaican men and women who use their hands to tell the story of the country’s rich culture.

The Tourism Linkages Network staged another successful ‘Christmas in July’ trade show with some 120 local producers of authentic Jamaican gift and souvenir items showcasing their products and networking with various corporate entities and industry stakeholders.

This year’s renewal saw 80 additional exhibitors participating, representing a significant increase over the number in 2016.

The event is held annually in a bid to encourage the purchase of more locally made products by stakeholders the hospitality sector and corporate Jamaica who are looking for suitable gifts for clients and staff.

Among the items that were on display to inform early purchasing decisions were corporate, home and decorative accessories; desktop solutions; ceramics, paintings, bags, specialty foods and aromatherapy/spa products.

The event, which was held at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel in New Kingston on July 27, also provided producers with the opportunity to access an alternative market segment, while adding uniqueness and creativity to their product offerings.

Tourism Minister, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, who endorsed the initiative, said the overall goal is to encourage partnership that will build economic prosperity for Jamaica.

“The strong linkages established between producers and buyers are important to our economic development. As it is the world over, micro, small and medium tourism enterprises are vital because 80 per cent of global tourism is driven by them,” he argued.

The Minister further contended that “if we are to seriously talk about retaining the revenue from tourism, then we have to build out the capacity of this 80 per cent to drive more creative output and be able to deliver on the demand that tourism brings.”

Additionally, Mr. Bartlett said the items displayed represented an authentic expression of Jamaican men and women who use their hands to tell the story of the country’s rich culture.

“Christmas in July is not just an arena for showcasing, but also a merchandising of authentic, creative Jamaican output which does a lot for the destination and the tourists who come, as it authenticates their visit to the destination,” he stated.

Meanwhile, producers and buyers lauded the Ministry’s undertaking to provide the opportunity for them to showcase and order the myriad of authentic offerings and souvenirs.

“It is our third year at Christmas in July and it has been working wonders; it presents the opportunity for us to get our products out there. We are able to revive our line of products, customise them to meet the requests and demands of our customers, all because this event has allowed everybody to see our beautiful ceramics,” Mustard Seed Ceramics’ Cheryl Mais told JIS News.

Chief Executive Officer of Go Travel Jamaica, Dave Chin Tung, was impressed with the wide array and high quality of products.

“I love the pottery, and the hand-carved stuff are incredible. I see quite a few things that I plan to order,” he shared.

Christmas in July, which had its third staging this year, is a collaboration involving the Tourism Linkages Network and its partners – Jamaica Promotions Corporation, Jamaica Manufacturers’ Association, Jamaica Business Development Corporation and Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association (JHTA).

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