The 20th staging of the Jamaica Product Exchange (JAPEX) at the Half Moon Conference Centre from May 11-13, 2010 has been described as an overwhelming success. Hosted by the Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association (JHTA) and the Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB), JAPEX, the island’s premier travel trade show, attracted 92 buyer delegates from the United States, Canada and Europe and approximately 215 supplier delegates from Jamaica.
“The three day trade show provided a wonderful opportunity for international buyers, travel wholesalers and tour operators to learn about Jamaica’s tourism product,” said John Lynch, Jamaica’s Director of Tourism. “This year’s event afforded our local tourism partners the chance to have direct interaction with the trade partners and solidify business opportunities.”
President of the JHTA Wayne Cummings, who was re-elected for a fourth consecutive term, described the event as “a phenomenal success.” He pointed out that JAPEX has continued to be especially successful over the years as a result of support from the Jamaica Tourist Board in securing the attendance of travel trade media.
“This year’s event was remarkable. Over thirty media representatives, both international and local were accredited and sought to share the latest developments of Jamaica’s tourism product,” noted Cummings.
Preceding the trade show, the JHTA held its annual general meeting which was addressed by the Minister of Tourism as well as the Director of Tourism.
Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett in his remarks noted that despite the state of the global economy, Jamaica remains an attractive destination with tremendous value for both visitors and investors. He said several key strategies are being pursued to position Jamaica’s tourism for further growth including casino gaming, for which legislation has been passed; new accommodation and enhanced duty-free shopping.
Director of Tourism John Lynch underscored the remarks made by Minister Bartlett, and cited strong airlift as one of the contributors to Jamaica’s success. He announced that the forecasted air seats for summer 2010 of more than 1.3 million indicates a 14 percent increase in seats over the same period last year. Mr. Lynch added that if Jamaica is to continue to achieve success as a tourist destination, the goal of the country’s tourist industry must include a heightened focus on accessibility, appeal to travelers’ passions and value.