Jamaica has left World Expo Dubai 2020 with an impressive showing by exceeding its visitor target and copping one of the 51 available participant awards.
The Jamaica Pavilion, which was located in the mobility district of the World Expo grounds with around 70 other pavilions, was given the bronze award for its pavilion design, which utilised shipping containers.
With a target of hosting one per cent of total Expo visitors, Commissioner General of the Jamaica Pavilion, Essie Gardner, told JIS News that the target was not only met but exceeded, as Jamaica hosted more than 320,000 of the Expo’s over 24 million visitors.
World Expo 2020 Dubai officially came to a close on March 31, 2022 after six months of world-class experiences and bringing together people from all over the world to create, collaborate and innovate in shaping the future.
The Expo was hosted under the theme ‘Connecting Minds and Creating the Future’ and categorised countries and their participation into three main districts – sustainability, mobility and opportunity.
“From the beginning, Jamaica was touted as one of the outstanding pavilions in the Expo and “a must-visit” pavilion. This award confirms that those accolades were well deserved. The pavilion focused not on looking at any one element of Jamaica, but as a composite,” Ms. Gardner said.
“Our culture permeated the entire pavilion. Persons who came into the pavilion got a very fresh outlook on Jamaica, and that resonated with them. So, the award really gives us another fillip to celebrate the strength of our brand, so we can leverage that to increase business to the destination,” she added.
The participant awards recognised three aspects of the pavilions – architecture and landscape, exhibition design, and theme interpretation – and the judges had a pool of 200 pavilions to examine.
The award was announced and distributed during the Bureau International des Expositions (BIE) Day Awards Ceremony on March 30 in the Jubilee Park on the Expo grounds.
Ms. Gardner said this nod from the World Expo overseers, the BIE, will bring further attention to Jamaica as a transhipment port and boost the country’s efforts to become the fourth global logistics hub.
The award will even attract participants to the World Free Zones Organization Conference, scheduled for June in Montego Bay, St. James, she added.
The bronze award for exhibition was the ‘icing on the cake’ for the Jamaican delegation as the Green Isle of the Indies proved to be little but ‘tallawah’ in attracting Expo visitors to the Jamaica Pavilion.
Besides giving Blue Mountain Coffee samples in a culture that loves coffee, Ms. Gardner said there were some other aspects of the pavilion that set Jamaica apart and attracted visitors.
“One of the things that kept getting rave commentary was the fact that our team engaged the people who visited the pavilion. It wasn’t a matter of coming in looking at things and leaving, we engaged persons. We spoke to people, they saw us as authentic Jamaicans and that we wanted to share our love of country with them, so that was also a pull,” Ms. Gardner said.
“We also had gift items that we offered everyone, and the media visibility which we have been getting also brought us to the attention of the public, and so they wanted to see what all the commentary was about,” she noted.
From October 1, 2021 to March 31, 2022, visitors were able to experience the culture, cuisine and music of Jamaica while learning about the history, contribution to sports, tourism and business opportunities that reside in the island.