Event Blog

JTB Looking to Boost Business from Latin America and Caribbean

The Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB) will be looking to secure new business from tourism markets in Latin America and the Caribbean during the 26th staging of the Jamaica Product Exchange (JAPEX) trade expo.

Billed as the largest tourism trade show in Jamaica, JAPEX will be held at the Montego Bay Convention Centre from April 29 to May 1.

Over 100 tour operators, travel agents, and media representatives from the region, North America and Europe are scheduled to attend the event.

Speaking at the launch of JAPEX at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel in New Kingston on April 12, Director of Tourism, Paul Pennicook, said it makes sense to target Latin America and the Caribbean given Jamaica’s location.

“Geography dictates that we should go into these markets and do some work,” he said.

He noted that the country is seeing increased airlift from the region with flights from the Panama-based Copa Airlines into Montego Bay and Kingston four times per week.

He said that while there will be increased focus on the Latin American and Caribbean markets, the JTB will also work to maintain the country’s presence in North America, which accounts for about 80 per cent of the tourism business to Jamaica.

The month of April was chosen for the trade expo in order to get Jamaica into the brochures of tour operators and travel agents in time for the winter tourist season from December to April.

Meanwhile, President of the Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association (JHTA), Nicola Madden-Greig, indicated that there will be new elements to this year’s show, including a focus on the creative industries.

The seminar component, introduced in 2015, will continue with discussion on areas such as marketing, security, refurbishing on a budget, and health issues affecting the industry.

“We will spare no effort in promoting the development of our industry to ensure that Jamaica continues to be the competitive and comparative advantage,” said Mrs. Madden-Greig.

A programme of the JHTA and the JTB, JAPEX is designed to satisfy the needs of a very wide range of tourism buyers and suppliers.

Buyers can expect to see and connect with tourism businesses representing all sub-sectors of the industry.

JAPEX, which attracts approximately 500 participants annually, provides an ideal opportunity to strengthen existing partnerships and make new connections.

Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, and Tourism Minister, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, are expected to attend the opening ceremony.

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