A virtual 2020 JAPEX

Business

A virtual 2020 JAPEX

Work begins on rolling out digital format for November 9-11

Friday, September 25, 2020

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Jamaica's premier tourism and attractions trade show, Jamaica Product Exchange (JAPEX) is still on for November 9-11, in spite of COVID-19 restrictions.

The trade show each year sees hundreds of international buyers in the hotel and attractions industry across the globe gathering in Jamaica with local players showcasing their products and services and striking business deals. However, this year's 30th staging will definitely be different from the norm.

With the restrictions of mass gatherings and other COVID -19 protocols in place, this year's annual trade show will, for the first time, be in a virtual format.

Japex is a collaborative event between the main tourism organisers in Jamaica, the Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association (JHTA) and the Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB).

JHTA past president, Nicola Madden-Greig has been nominated to spearhead discussions with the JTB to make JAPEX 2020 a reality.

In his outgoing speech last week as JHTA President, Omar Robinson encouraged his fellow hoteliers and tourism players to participate in JAPEX 2020 even with COVID-19.

He implored international tourism buyers “to develop mutually beneficial relationships with our local tour operators and travel agents as they stand ready to work with you. The JHTA and JTB have traditionally had a collaborative relationship in marketing the island and this partnership is even more important at this time as we pivot in identifying and targeting the Generation C travellers, as well as new segments post COVID-19”.

It is not known whether JAPEX 2020, like last year, will be held at the Montego Bay Conference Centre or a smaller space will be targeted, given that the event will be held virtually. These details are yet to be worked out as the planning team is just being assembled.

However, work is now on in earnest for buyers and sellers to register for the event. A webpage has been created for registration but when the Observer's Caribbean Business Report tried to register, it was observed that the page has not been activated.

JAPEX is the single most important business generator for Jamaica's tourism industry. Each year there are two days of pre-scheduled appointments, wholesalers and tour operators meet face to face with close to 200 of Jamaica's leading tourism suppliers to conduct business negotiations.

Since its 1990 inception, JAPEX has been a joint project of the JHTA and JTB, supported by every Jamaican organisation involved in the development, promotion and sale of the island's tourism product.

JAPEX is a world of business opportunities, all in one place.

— Durrant Pate


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