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Mo’Bay hosts travel chiefs

Regional 05 Jun, 2024 Follow News

Delegates enjoy some fabulous Jamaican cuisine

Montego Bay was a perfect setting for Marketplace

Jamaica’s hosted the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association’s (CHTA) flagship sales event, Caribbean Travel Marketplace 42, last week and was hailed as “a resounding success” by Minister of Tourism, Edmund Bartlett.

Over 1,200 delegates from around 50 countries attended. Bartlett said: “We’re very pleased with the response from our suppliers and buyers alike, also the countries in the region that have made this great event successful, meaningful and the largest staging ever.”

The Caribbean Travel Marketplace 42 had well over 12,750 scheduled appointments with parties exploring the signing of contracts, noting that “it signals the full post COVID-19 recovery of tourism in our region.”

Held at the Montego Bay Convention Centre, from May 20-23, there was generally an immensely positive feeling for the future. Bartlett said: “It brought new ideas, an opportunity to look at best practices and to give support to each other in building the industry.”

With tourism one of the Caribbean’s major sources to its economy, Bartlett remarked that most islands were running well ahead of 40% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) dependence on tourism, with employment and foreign exchange primarily generated by the industry “and therefore huge portions of our investments are also driven by tourism.”

CHTA President, Nicola Madden-Greig was equally ebullient, saying that “all the feedback so far has been exceptional. Jamaica has been the best host and we did a great job.”

This convention included the first ever MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions) groups exchange, with a special itinerary for meeting planners. “We also had our first multi-destination fam trip, which is celebrating the fact that we’re trying to push regional tourism and letting people understand that when you come to the Caribbean you can enjoy more than one destination.”

She said good airlift was now available linking St Lucia, Barbados, Jamaica and going onto Cayman as it continues to grow.

She said there was a big demand for Caribbean tourism with a lot of people interested in investing “but we have to be ready for that investment; we have to be able to build out the right product, continue to offer the right experiences, engage the local community and ensure that tourism works for everyone.”

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