The Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association’s (JHTA) 2011 Caribbean Marketplace ended recently with just under 12,000 appointments made between buyers and sellers, at the new, state-of-the-art Montego Bay Convention Centre in Rose Hall, St. James.
The event, held January 16 to 18, was the first to be staged at the 84,000 square feet convention centre with a capacity of up to 6,000 people. Chief players in the tourism sector, though not able to give a dollar value to the business concluded on the market floor over the three days, nevertheless felt the conference was a ‘major success’.
In a statement Wednesday (January 19), Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, noted that the event has positioned Jamaica as a premier destination for meetings and conventions.
Mr. Bartlett said that the importance of Caribbean Marketplace could not be overemphasised, as the coming together of regional players, stakeholders and their partners in the tourism industry, which this event facilitated, is typical of the unity and co-operation needed to develop the sector, from a regional standpoint.
“As a region, we need to intensify our marketing efforts, not only in existing markets, but in new and emerging markets, as well, in order to fully capitalise on new opportunities,” Mr. Bartlett said.
Speaking briefly to participants at the closing reception, dubbed ‘Caribbean Night Party’, Mr. Bartlett commended participants for making the event ‘very successful and one which will be recorded in history’.
President of the JHTA, Wayne Cummings, noted that the success of the event at the Centre has strengthened Jamaica’s position as a site for major international meetings and conventions.
“The choice of Jamaica to host the 2011 Caribbean Marketplace amplifies our credibility as a major tourism destination,” Mr. Cummings noted.
CONTACT: GLENIS ROSE
JIS REGIONAL OFFICE