JIS News

Story Highlights

  • Some 80 local producers of authentic Jamaican gift and souvenir items will be showcasing their products and networking with corporate entities and various industry players at the inaugural staging of ‘Christmas in July’ slated for July 24 at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel in Kingston.
  • The event, which is being hosted by the Tourism Linkages Hub with major participation from the Jamaica Business Development Corporation (JBDC).
  • The event is an opportunity for the productive sector to be more profitable, to do more with local products and possibly satisfy some of the demand on the foreign exchange and create more jobs.

Some 80 local producers of authentic Jamaican gift and souvenir items will be showcasing their products and networking with corporate entities and various industry players at the inaugural staging of ‘Christmas in July’ slated for July 24 at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel in Kingston.

The event, which is being hosted by the Tourism Linkages Hub with major participation from the Jamaica Business Development Corporation (JBDC), will showcase Jamaican corporate gift solutions with a view to providing producers with the opportunity to access an alternative market segment while adding uniqueness and creativity to their product offerings.

“We are accommodating these persons to showcase what it is that they have to offer to corporate Jamaica, the tourism industry, the missions and embassies.  Our Ministry (tourism) from time to time visit other countries and every time we leave here, it is an opportunity to showcase Jamaica,” Head of the Tourism Linkages Hub, Carolyn McDonald-Riley, highlighted at a JIS Think Tank session (July 14).

She added that the event is an opportunity for the productive sector to be more profitable, to do more with local products and possibly satisfy some of the demand on the foreign exchange and create more jobs.

Product categories that will be displayed and available for purchase at the event include traditional souvenirs of all kinds; corporate, home and decorative accessories; desktop solutions; specialty foods and aromatherapy/spa products.

Highlighting JBDC’s involvement, Project Development and Implementation Specialist at the JBDC, Marie Casserly, informed that the agency has been assisting in preparing the local producers for the upcoming event through a seminar and an assessment session.

She said that local producers benefited from presentations by design experts, corporate buyers and JBDC’s technical services and product development teams which covered areas such as the market for corporate gifts and what corporate buyers are looking for.

The agency, she added, also offered a special discount package on services in logo, label and packaging design, with a limited offering in product design/adaptations leading up to the event.

“Of the 80 producers to participate, over 90 per cent were ready to go, that is the businesses are registered, their product lines are refined and they have the capacity to respond and deliver to orders,” Miss Casserly pointed out.

She added that the sessions have allowed all the producers to make tweaks to their lines to present on July 24.

Meanwhile, Mrs. McDonald-Riley said Christmas in July is a very important event as it is about showcasing the country’s local manufacturers.

“What is significant is that when we sell or expose our products to the hotels, we are selling Jamaica to the rest of the world….so Sandals, for instance, have said that whatever they buy here (in Jamaica) is in every single one of their properties wherever they are located, so there is no limit to what we can achieve not just through Christmas in July, but the linkages and opportunities for the persons that are there,” Mrs. McDonald- Riley added.

Christmas in July is a collaborative effort of the Tourism Linkages Hub and its partners, the Jamaica Promotions Corporation (JAMPRO), Jamaica ManufacturersAssociation (JMA), Jamaica Business Development Corporation and the Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association (JHTA).

The mission of the Linkages Hub is to position and assist the tourism sector to increase its demand for and consumption of goods and services that can be competitively sourced in Jamaica.

The primary goal is to ensure that Jamaica’s tourism sector becomes better integrated with and creates local opportunities for other sectors such as entertainment, agriculture and manufacturing.