The 23rd staging of JAPEX was held this week with a strong representation of delegates from the United States, Canada, Germany, Spain and the U.K, among a contingent of representatives from non-traditional and new markets.
Helping underscore the fact that JAPEX remains a vital institution for Jamaica’s tourism sector was the growing interest in and attendance of the conference. JAPEX 2013 attracted 94 buyer delegates overall, one of the largest delegations of overseas buyers for the event in recent years.
The event takes place in a period of transition in Jamaica’s tourism industry, which is taking place against the background of continuing instability in many of the island’s significant source markets.
Dr. Wykeham McNeill, Jamaica’s Minister of Tourism and Entertainment, noted that the much work is being done to ensure the continued grown and development of the sector, resuming Jamaica’s profile in markets with new advertising which are now being developed.
“Our marketing strategies will make more effective use of new media to drive interest in and demand for Jamaica as a vacation destination,” said McNeill.
“Investment prospects for the industry are very promising and several new investors have acquired existing properties, new brands have come on board, while other hotels chains are either planning to expand or will be constructing new properties”, he continued.
While JAPEX is an important forum for building connections and deepening relationships to drive growth in visitor arrivals to Jamaica; JAPEX, in even more profound ways, is also about the linkages with the domestic economy.
“The event is not only important to industry partners but it is important to every Jamaican,” noted McNeill.
The Montego Bay Convention Centre will again be home to Caribbean Marketplace in 2014.
Jamaica Tourist Board, www.visitjamaica.com