Prime Minister, the Hon. Bruce Golding, has announced that a major investment conference will be held this year, as Government looks to encourage and attract more investment in the major sectors, including tourism.
He was speaking on September 18 at the launch of Jamaica Product Exchange (JAPEX) 2011 at the Montego Bay Convention Centre in Rose Hall, St. James.
“We are planning, we are hosting on December 1, a major investor conference involving both local and overseas investors, and one of the things that we want to do at that investor conference is to see just how much in interest we can excite, how much commitment we are able to get to investment in, among other areas, the tourism industry, he said.
He noted that investments are not only needed to build more hotel rooms, but also in the area of attractions, to ensure that visitors can enjoy their stay on the island.
The Prime Minister mentioned plans to further the integration of tourism with other sectors of the economy.
“We feel that there is much more value that we can add to the product. We feel it is important, strategically, for us to involve and engage as much as possible, other sectors of the economy,” he stated, noting that tourism can be a far more effective driver of economic activity than it already is, if it is approached in a coordinated way.
JAPEX, regarded as the premier trade event for the Jamaican tourism sector, provides the opportunity for several wholesalers, travel agents and tour operators from across the globe, to meet with the island’s leading tourism suppliers to conduct business negotiations and finalise agreements.
This year’s event, from September 18 to 20, has attracted a record number of buyers and sellers. “This year, we are pleased to host a record 625 of you,” said President of the Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association (JHTA), Evelyn Smith.
She informed that for the first time, the Ministry of Industry, Investment and Commerce is playing an integral role in the staging of the event. The move, she said, will facilitate the inclusion of local business partners in industries such as agriculture, manufacturing, distribution and arts and craft.