JIS News

Approximately 500 travel agents, tour operators and wholesalers from across the Americas as well as leaders in Jamaica’s tourism sector, participated in the official opening ceremony for the 15th annual Jamaica Product Exchange (JAPEX) travel trade exposition at Half Moon Conference Centre in Montego Bay on Sunday (May 2).
Described as Jamaica’s premier travel trade event JAPEX, which seeks to showcase the destination’s diverse attractions for niche marketing, has consistently offered the ideal forum for leading suppliers of the Jamaican tourism product to meet with travel wholesalers and tour operators from the Americas in a professionally organized business exchange.
Among those involved in the ceremony, which has been scheduled for three days, were some 107 delegates from 67 buyer companies and 258 suppliers from about 87 companies. This event, sponsored by the Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association (JHTA), the Jamaica Tourist Board and supported by the Caribbean Hotel Association, has been mooted as the biggest and best since its commencement 15 years ago.
In addressing the participants at the ceremony, Minister of Industry and Tourism, Aloun Ndombet-Assamba, said that Jamaica’s music, food, people and history, continued to fascinate visitors from all over the globe, resulting in record arrivals of 1.35 million stopover visitors and 1.13 million cruise visitors last year.
“Our tourism business is one in which personal contact and first hand knowledge are of great importance, therefore the presence here of buyers from overseas is critical for our Jamaican suppliers to show what we are doing to meet and exceed the expectations of our vacationers. The government places considerable emphasis on expanding and developing both our physical capacity and our technical capabilities to serve the ever widening niches in the global tourism business,” Minister Assamba noted.
She pointed out that government was ensuring that at the most basic level, through training and education, people were equipped to perform admirably at all levels of the industry, adding that efforts were also being made to attract investments to improve the physical infrastructure across the country.
“Through all of this, we are ensuring that the quality of service we deliver is up to world class standards, in fact, we want to be best in class.So, to all of you our visitors and to the Jamaicans who are here, our partners, on behalf of the government and people of Jamaica, I again welcome all of you to JAPEX and take great pleasure in declaring JAPEX 2004 open,” the Tourism Minister said.

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