Tourism interests from around the world will converge in the island next January for ‘Caribbean Marketplace 2011,’ which is one of the largest and most prestigious tourism marketing events in the region.
The three-day event, organised by the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA), will be held from January 16 to 18 at the Convention Centre in Montego Bay, which is currently under construction.
Making the announcement at a media conference in today (April 15) at the Jamaica Pegasus hotel in New Kingston, CHTA President, Enrique De Marchena, said that the staging of the event in Jamaica offers the country a tremendous opportunity to showcase its many offerings to the world.
“We know that Montego Bay is one of the top three or four destinations in the Caribbean. It would be a great opportunity for Jamaica to introduce to the world, the travel agencies, the international press, all of what not only Montego Bay, but the several destinations in Jamaica have to offer,” he stated.
Tourism Minister, Hon. Edmund Bartlett (centre) is congratulated by President of the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA), Enrique De Marchena (left), on Jamaica’s selection as the host destination for Caribbean Marketplace 2011, during a press briefing on Thursday (April 15) at the Jamaica Pegasus hotel in New Kingston, where the announcement was made.
Executive Director of the CHTA, Alec Sanguinetti, informed that Jamaica was one of three destinations competing to host the gathering. He said the country was not only selected because of its appeal but also due to its proven ability to host such a large and important event.
This will be Jamaica’s third time hosting Caribbean Marketplace. The event was held in Kingston in 1985 and in Montego Bay in 2005.
Noting that the country stands to benefit financially from hosting the event, Mr. Sanguinetti said that “the revenue flow through to the destination will be a minimum of US $1.5 million (JA$133.5M) from room revenues, taxes, the money that is spent to put the event together. All of that combined, does leave behind quite a ‘war chest’.
Tourism Minister, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, in the meantime, gave the assurance that the Convention Centre, located in Rosehall, will be completed by the end of 2010 or early 2011, in time for the occasion.
“The centre is moving at a good pace. (Work) slowed a little in the last month, but prior to that, we were assured that it would have been completed ahead of schedule. It has been put back a little and this is why I have carried the date to the first week of January,” he informed. “That’s going to make it tight, we agree, however the critical areas that are going to be needed to enable us to have the convention will be ready,” he stated.
Caribbean Marketplace 2011 will be the first major event to be held at the state-of-the-art complex, which, when completed, will boast over 52,000 square feet of exhibition space, 11,000 square feet of meeting space, and a divisible banquet hall with a capacity for 2,000 persons.
The Minister said that “while the convention centre will strengthen Jamaica’s position as an events destination in the global tourism marketplace, Caribbean Marketplace will showcase the region’s best offerings to overseas buyers and is critical in the marketing of the Caribbean’s hospitality and tourism industry.”
“Jamaica will do everything to make Caribbean Marketplace 2011 outstandingly successful for everyone,” he declared.
Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association (JHTA) President, Mr. Wayne Cummings, in his remarks, stated that the event “is a very critical and important marketing event to Jamaica” and expressed confidence that the country “will host the best Marketplace ever.”
Caribbean Marketplace 2009, held in San Juan, Puerto Rico hosted close to 1,500 supplier and buyer delegates.
The 58-year old CHTA represents the hospitality industry’s private sector, including 36 national hotel associations, 850 hotel members and more than 600 supplier companies.