JAPEX 2018 opens today with top buyers, suppliers

Sunday, September 23, 2018

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Jamaica Product Exchange (JAPEX), the annual tourism trade show, opens today in Montego Bay with an impressive group of buyers and sellers, organisers have said.

Hosted by the Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association (JHTA) in association with the Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB), the three-day event will see JHTA members (suppliers), including hotels and attractions, meeting with overseas hospitality and tourism industry wholesalers (buyers) and travel agents to showcase their businesses and negotiate and confirm rates for winter 2018 and beyond.

Continuing a collaboration with the Tourism Linkages Council, a number of local manufacturers and suppliers of goods and services to the hospitality and tourism industry will also mount displays including furniture and bedding, food and beverage, textile and sewn products and printing and packaging.

“We are extremely pleased at the excellent standard of participants registered for JAPEX 2018, including representatives of many of the major travel booking companies — wholesalers and travel agents — and our local hospitality and tourism specialists,” JHTA President Omar Robinson is quoted in a news release. “This is evidence of a high level of interest and commitment, respectively, in Brand Jamaica.”

Among the 200 overseas tour operators, travel agents and media partners already registered for the trade show are major international hospitality and tourism players Air Canada Vacations, American Airlines, Delta Vacations, Apple Leisure Group, Expedia Inc, JetBlue Vacations, Perillo Tours, West Jet Vacations and TravelClick.

“While the past year has seen some consolidations and mergers in the travel accommodation industry worldwide, the representation at JAPEX is at an impressive level with buyers covering all the major markets including the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom,” Robinson said. “We are also pleased with the increased interest from countries like Argentina, Spain, Nigeria, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Mexico, Panama and Peru.”

The travel agents will be special guests at JAPEX and will tour the trade floor, receive a product update from the JTB and have site visits of some properties.

“We are always happy to welcome representatives from our traditional markets and to increase and strengthen business from those markets,” Robinson said. “Receiving a heightened level of interest from emerging markets is equally gratifying and evidence that the many long hours and effort put into investing in and building a strong product in Jamaica by our JHTA members, complemented by the marketing efforts of the Ministry of Tourism and the Jamaica Tourist Board, are paying off.”

Robinson predicted that “the buyers are going to be very impressed by the over 225 local suppliers at JAPEX including all-inclusive and EP accommodations, couples-only and family-friendly resorts, business and resort properties as well as the attractions which run the gamut of hiking and mountain trails, water and land-based adventure and sight seeing tours”.

He added: “We also have support services like airports, air and ground transportation and medical services. Then there are some of the companies which support the hospitality and tourism industry, providing the quality products we need for the industry.

“So JAPEX is the full package, showcasing the tourism industry including its linkages and the teams in the various sectors that make Jamaica one of the best countries to live in and to visit,” Robinson said.

JAPEX 2018 will also showcase the music and culture of Jamaica at the opening ceremony today, and the welcome party at Sandals Montego Bay tomorrow.

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