JIS News

The annual ‘Christmas in July’ trade show will be held virtually for the first time on Thursday, July 23.

The event will feature locally produced gifts and souvenir items that will be available for purchase in December.

Products will be from the categories of fashion and accessories, art and crafts, processed foods, aromatherapy and souvenirs such as desktop items and décor.

Director of the Tourism Linkages Network, Carolyn McDonald Riley, told JIS News that the virtual show is in response to the physical distancing measures put in place by the Government to contain the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

In the past, the public was allowed inside the venue, at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel. However, this year the event will be streamed live on the social media pages of all the partner entities from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m., hosted by Emprezz Golding.

Persons wishing to contact a supplier will be able to do so in real time.

“What they are going to be invited to do is to make contact, whether by clicking directly on the suppliers’ pages that they would have seen on screen or using the contact information, which will be visible on screen or read out by the person, who is describing the product,” Mrs. McDonald Riley explained.

She noted that Christopher “Johnny” Daley will be the host of that segment, “describing the products in an entertaining way”.

The event will start at 9:00 a.m. with an opening ceremony led by the Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, after which a small group of invited persons will be allowed inside the room for viewing.

“The idea behind Christmas in July is that the products are not available now. It is for you to view in July what will be available for Christmas,” Mrs. McDonald Riley reminded.

“It is really a call for corporate Jamaica to consider our local entrepreneurs to do business with them. What this has shown is that COVID has not daunted our creative spirit,” she added.

A total of 183 manufacturers and artisans of locally made corporate gift items participated in a recent assessment session at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel, of which 120 are expected to be selected as exhibitors for the trade show.

The event is a collaborative effort of the Tourism Linkages Network and its partners, JAMPRO, Jamaica Manufacturers and Exporters’ Association (JMEA), Jamaica Business Development Corporation (JBDC), Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association (JHTA), Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA), and the Bureau of Standards.

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