AFRICANGLOBE – President of the Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association (JHTA) Evelyn Smith says the island was successfully marketed to the travel trade during this year’s staging of Caribbean Travel Marketplace.
“Jamaica has been presented in a positive light. Feedback from the tour operators I have spoken with is that they have done good business. We now have to see what our members report coming in subsequent months,” Smith told reporters, at the end of the three- day event.
She expressed gratitude to the several participating stakeholders who assisted in the preparation of the event put on by the Caribbean Hotel & Tourism Association (CHTA).
“The staging of Caribbean Marketplace 2014 required significant work. On behalf of the members of the association, the organising committee, as well as the many Jamaican suppliers who participated in the staging, we are very grateful for the support that we received from a number of our partners,” said the JHTA president.
Another positive highlight of the event was that unlike previous years, most of the equipment needed in the preparation of the travel trade show, was sourced locally.
“Almost 100 per cent of what was needed- from the pipe and drape to make the booth, to the decor to get it going, to the equipment to be rented- all of those items were provided by Jamaican suppliers,” Smith explained. “In previous years booth equipment and others had to come into the island. In this case, almost 100 per cent of the equipment came from Jamaican suppliers.”
Hotel mogul Gordon ‘Butch’ Stewart told reporters that this year’s staging of the event was the best he had ever seen.
“I think it is easily the best CHTA Marketplace ever, and people have done business, which it is all about,” he stressed.
“I have been to many, many, over many years and I think everybody is very comfortable with Jamaica, and when we can put on events like this, it says a lot for those involved.”
He added that he strongly believes that the hoteliers from across the Caribbean have all enjoyed the camaraderie and relations forged at the event.
According to Tanesha Clarke, the sales and marketing manager at Sunset Resorts, her company has had very productive meetings during the staging of the event, adding that “we have been able to secure some very good deals for the travel season ahead.”
She added that the display booths of all the Caribbean countries were very impressive.
“When you look around and see what all the Caribbean Islands have brought out, it really looks wonderful, and it’s a wonderful showing for the Caribbean, not only for Jamaica,” said Clarke, adding that Caribbean Marketplace 2014 has turned out to be a very successful event.
Jamaica last hosted the event in 2011.
Caribbean Travel Marketplace 2014, the premier tourism marketing show, is the largest and most important business-to-business marketing event for the region’s hospitality industry.
About 1,200 delegates from more than 26 countries in North America, South America and Europe were in attendance at the event which was staged from Sunday to Tuesday at the Montego Bay Convention Centre in Rose Hall, St James.
The event, was officially declared open by Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller on Sunday night.
By: Horace Hines