JIS News

Story Highlights

  • In an effort by the Government and its agencies to gain support for the purchase of locally produced gift items, an exhibition dubbed, ‘Christmas in July’, was held at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel, in New Kingston, on July 24.
  • The idea which spawned the creation of this event arose out of a remark that was made last Christmas by Tourism Minister, Hon. Dr. Wykeham McNeill, about gifts that were given to him from overseas.
  • Among the items displayed at the event were ceramics, office and home accessories, paintings, bags, processed foods and aromatherapy/spa products.

In an effort by the Government and its agencies to gain support for the purchase of locally produced gift items, an exhibition dubbed, ‘Christmas in July’, was held at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel, in New Kingston, on July 24.

The idea which spawned the creation of this event arose out of a remark that was made last Christmas by Tourism Minister, Hon. Dr. Wykeham McNeill, about gifts that were given to him from overseas.

Dr.  McNeill felt the need to do something about having locally produced gift items and through the Tourism Ministry’s Linkages Council meeting, the idea was born.

Some 80 local producers of authentic craft, gifts and souvenirs showcased a wide selection of items to buyers from the hospitality sector and corporate Jamaica in general, who are looking for suitable gifts for clients and staff.

Among the items displayed at the event  were ceramics, office and home accessories, paintings, bags, processed foods and aromatherapy/spa products.

Vice President of Export and Market Development at Jamaica Promotions Corporation (JAMPRO), Robert Scott, said “research shows that corporate gifting is a $40 billion industry, globally. This is a fantastic opportunity to help our local persons to get into something that didn’t exist.”

For his part, Industry, Investment and Commerce Minister, Hon. Anthony Hylton, reiterated the importance of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), noting that  “SMEs are the backbone of the Jamaican economy as key components and contributors of job creation and innovation.”

Encouraged by what this exhibition is doing for his local craft business, Charles Bryan, said this is good for his venture.

Mr. Bryan, who has to be assisted by a wheelchair, displayed craft items made of wood, such as trays, pencil holders, scribbling pads and coasters.

Christmas in July’s first staging was a collaboration of the Tourism Linkages Hub and its partners – JAMPRO, Jamaica Manufactures’ Association (JMA), Jamaica Business Development Corporation (JBDC) and the Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association (JHTA).