JIS News

The annual Speed Networking event, hosted by the Tourism Linkages Network, will be held on Wednesday (March 31), beginning at 9:00 am.

The virtual event, which will take place via the website www.tlnspeednetworking.com, will feature a series of 15-minute prescheduled meetings throughout the day between executives of supplier companies and managers of properties, restaurants, attractions and other tourism entities.

Director of the Tourism Linkages Network, Carolyn McDonald Riley, told JIS News that the event was postponed last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  However, for this year, the team had to “pivot” and make changes to its format.

She said that even with the challenges being faced by the tourism sector because of the pandemic, there is still a level of high interest among stakeholders, especially those who would not have otherwise participated.

“In 2019, we had 110 suppliers and of that number we have 40 per cent that actually responded to be a part of the process this year. The 40 per cent that responded said they did over $50 million worth of business,” Mrs. McDonald Riley said.

She highlighted that along with the traditional areas that are usually featured at the event, there have been requests to include graphic design, content design, website development, training and coffee processing.

Mrs. McDonald Riley said that persons can still register to participate, however, they will not benefit from the prescheduled meetings.

The Speed Networking initiative has, over the years, benefited a number of small and medium-sized tourism enterprises, providing exposure for their businesses and opportunities for contracts.

It involves partnership with the Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association (JHTA), Jamaica Manufacturers and Exporters Association (JMEA), Jamaica Business Development Corporation (JBDC), Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA) and the Jamaica Promotions Corporation (JAMPRO).

The Tourism Linkages Network is a department of the Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF) under the Ministry of Tourism.

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