The 29th annual Jamaica Product Exchange (JAPEX) is complete for another year, after welcoming delegates from Canada, the United States, Latin America and Europe – with a significant increase from last year’s global buyer registration.
Hosted over two days at the Montego Bay Convention Centre, the annual trade show and conference connected visiting buyers with 91 supplier companies, represented by 220 delegates, through more than 1,000 business appointments.
“Jamaica is experiencing record-breaking numbers, undergoing major developments, and receiving global recognition like never before,” said Director of Tourism Donovan White. “Tourism is our largest earner of foreign exchange and second largest employer of our human capital, and we are proud to share that the industry is once again poised to achieve year on year growth in arrivals and earnings.”
In addition to sharing the 9.1% growth as of AUG 2019, Director White highlighted that the destination has achieved revenues of US$2.39 billion, representing a 12% increase. Projections forecast an uptick in stopover arrivals of 7% for the final quarter of the year, bringing 2019 to a total of 2.68 million arrivals.
Below is a roundup of key developments in Jamaica’s tourism sector:
AC Hotel by Marriott in Kingston opened its doors in June as the newest lifestyle hotel in Jamaica, adding 219 rooms to the overall inventory in the capital city. The property is situated on six acres within the city’s golden triangle, catering to business and leisure travellers.
In Port Antonio, the Geejam Collection is launching 12 new 550-square-foot rooms as part of its latest development plan. The Marumba Studios, slated to open late this year, will feature a modern creative design, boasting views of the surrounding rainforest and crystal blue sea.
RIU Ocho Rios will reopen to the public this month after a complete refurbishment of its 790 rooms, and the addition of 45 new family rooms.
In Trelawny, the all-new Oceans by H10 will offer 1,000 rooms, with 500 of those slated to debut this November.
The Government of Jamaica finalized the sale of land in Salem, St. Ann for the hotel developers from Karisma to begin the construction of 3,000 rooms in several phases, beginning with 700 later this year.
Sangster International Airport (SIA) in Montego Bay is expanding infrastructure improvements which includes a new design theme, the addition of 25,800 square feet to the departure terminal and upgrades to the commercial area with a renewed focus on Jamaican specialty products and artisan goods.
In August, Jamaica launched an online version of the Immigration and Customs Declaration form for arriving visitors at the island’s international airports. The new online format allows passengers to be processed more seamlessly, leading to a reduction in wait times at both immigration and customs.
Jamaica’s Director of Tourism Donovan White (2ndfrom right) attended a media breakfast at Half Moon and shared an update on tourism during the annual Jamaica Product Exchange (JAPEX). Joining Director White are David Dobson (left), Chief Technical Director at the Ministry of Tourism; Omar Robinson (2nd left), President of the JHTA; Shernette Crichton (3rd left), General Manager Half Moon Resort; Camile Glenister (center), Deputy Director of Tourism, Marketing, Jamaica Tourist Board; Angella Bennett (3rd right), Regional Director – Canada, Jamaica Tourist Board; and Guy Steuart (right), Chairman, Half Moon
Bruce Parkinson Editor-in-Chief
An observer and analyst of the Canadian and international travel industries for over 25 years, Bruce uses the pre-dawn hours to prepare a daily news and information package to keep industry members up to date.