With the Jamaica Product Exchange (JAPEX) set to get under way today at the Montego Bay Convention Centre (MBCC), participants can look forward to seminars geared toward boosting their businesses.
JAPEX, the largest travel and tourism trade show in Jamaica organised by the Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association and the Jamaica Tourist Board, provides a platform for travel partners and local tourism operators to have dialogue with a view to creating relationships and generating new business.
The trade show, which will come to a close this Tuesday, September 26 — World Tourism Day — will coincide with the United Nations World Tourism Organization's observance of World Tourism Week under the theme 'Sustainable Tourism A Tool for Development'. It will also begin at the tail end of the Montego Chamber of Commerce and Industry Expo 2017, also at the MBCC.
Between 2 pm and 4 pm today, members of the JHTA will benefit from three seminars aimed at boosting their businesses through marketing and technology, which will be facilitated by US-based hospitality firm Travel Click Inc.
The seminars, to be delivered in concert with the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association, will cover the topics 'Converting Data to Dollars', 'Monetising Social Media' and 'The Importance of Being Direct'. Following each seminar will be panel discussions including representatives of the over 102 tour operators in Europe and the Americas and 75 international travel agents present for the three-day event.
As JHTA president Omar Robinson explains, this high level of participation is an indication of confidence in Jamaica's tourism product.
“[It is] yet another demonstration of the high level of interest that our travel partners maintain in Jamaica and their continued support of the destination.”
He stated further that the inclusion of the seminars in this year's staging of JAPEX a reflection of the JHTA's obligation to serve its membership.
“The mandate of the JHTA is to bring thought leadership and global perspective to our members, equipping them with the tools they need to succeed and strive in an increasingly competitive tourism landscape. Workshops such as these are one of the avenues we use to ensure that our members — local hoteliers, attractions, tour operators and purveyors are consistently aware of the shifting landscape,” Robinson remarked.
“Whilst the trade show of JAPEX is designed to have hoteliers and attractions make meaningful connections with the resellers of hospitsality and tourism products, our 'Boost Your Revenue' workshops are designed to help hoteliers and attractions grow their direct line of business,” he also stated.
In the meantime, Prime Minister Andrew Holness and Minster of Tourism Ed Bartlett are scheduled to speak at the opening ceremony of JAPEX alongside Robinson. Bartlett is also slated to engage in an official tour of the JAPEX Trade Floor.
The JHTA indicated in a release that the public will be allowed, for the first time, to visit the trade floor on the final day. This will allow local firms and the wider Jamaica to garner a greater appreciation of Jamaica's tourism product and also to book vacations, hotel stays and purchase attraction passes at attractive prices.
Beyond the one-on-one appointments between international delegates and local stakeholders, the JHTA promises that the event will also appeal to the social side of participants.
On Tuesday there will be a grand 'Sun, Sand and Sea' event hosted by Sandals Resorts featuring Shaggy, and JAPEX will close with Jamaican Adventure at Chukka Good Hope in partnership with Expedia and featuring performances by Major Lazer, the release also said.