KINGSTON, Jamaica, CMC – A large contingent of travel buyers from China are scheduled to attend the largest tourism marketing event in the region, scheduled for Montego Bay later this month.
The Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA) that will host the 37th annual Caribbean Travel Marketplace event says 20 Chinese companies will join more than 1,000 delegates who have registered for the January 29 to 31 conference.
“The interest in Jamaica and the Caribbean is reflected in the number of buyers who are attending Marketplace from around the world,” said CHTA’s chief marketing officer, Matt Cooper.
He told a recent news conference there will be close to 60 new buyer companies from Argentina, Brazil, Canada, China, Colombia, India, Mexico, Panama, Peru, Poland, Puerto Rico, St. Vincent & The Grenadines, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States – are confirmed for the leading travel event. These will join about 80 returning buyer companies.
He believes this expanded interest is not accidental: “We believe in large part the enthusiasm is driven by the outstanding and tireless work of (Tourism) Minister Edmund Bartlett, his tourism team, the Jamaica Hotel & Tourist Association, and the CHTA team along with ongoing global outreach.
Cooper commended Bartlett for introducing a companion event to Marketplace, the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO)- and Government of Jamaica-hosted small- and medium-size tourism enterprises (SMTE) conference.
Nurturing small/medium sized tourism enterprises
“We have a tremendous opportunity to continue to nurture and develop traditional and unique SMTE businesses, fueled by the imagination, creativity, and energy of those who see the opportunity to capture a piece of the tourism pie,” added Cooper.
Speaking on behalf of CHTA President Patricia Affonso-Dass, CHTA’s leadership and staff, sponsors and delegates, Cooper described how thrilled CHTA was to return to Jamaica. “Much has changed since Jamaica last hosted Marketplace in 2014 – locally, regionally and globally – all boding well for the future of Jamaican and Caribbean tourism.”
Technology has aided Caribbean tourism development
“In response to consumer demand, our tourism product continues to grow, becoming more diverse and offering more authentic experiences and unique accommodations. Technology has connected more people to the Caribbean, and our people and businesses in the region are using the experiences to link them to potential customers,” Cooper said.
Caribbean Travel Marketplace 2019 is produced by CHTA in collaboration with the Jamaica Hotel & Tourist Association, the Jamaica Tourist Board and the Jamaica Ministry of Tourism.