JAPEX 2014 to showcase tourism linkages
Janet Silvera, Gleaner Writer
WESTERN BUREAU: In addition to the 271 buyer and supplier delegates who will conduct business at the Jamaica Product Exchange (JAPEX) next week, some 33 local manufacturing companies have been granted access to the premier marketing event.
JAPEX, staged by the Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association (JHTA) and the Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB), is held annually to showcase the tourism industry, including its linkages with the entertainment, agriculture and manufacturing sectors.
Jamaican manufacturers, including producers of furniture and bedding, food and beverage, textile and sewn products, chemical, industrial supplies, cosmetics, printing and packaging and windows and doors, will be joined by other local suppliers of art, gift, craft and aromatherapy products, the JHTA has announced.
A total of 63 local business operators who supply the tourist industry have been scheduled to meet with some 100 buyers, said the JHTA.
Complementing the manufacturers, the Rural Agricultural Development Authority will present suppliers of agricultural and other value-added products and the opening ceremony will showcase high-quality Jamaican entertainment.
The thrust is a collaboration between the hotelier group and the recently formed Tourism Linkages Council, said JHTA President Nicola Madden-Greig.
Excited about the prospects, Madden-Greig said she welcomed the participation as it presented a fully integrated, cohesive hospitality and tourism industry that benefits all Jamaica.
"The Tourism Linkages Council and Tourism Linkages Hub, the brainchild of the Ministry of Tourism and Entertainment are dedicated to achieving better alignment between the Jamaica tourism sector with the entertainment, agriculture and manufacturing sectors," she noted.
The event, which will take place at the Montego Bay Convention Centre from September 21 to 23, will host more than 203 supplier delegates and 68 buyer delegates, including representatives of hotels, attractions, airlines and ground transportation companies.
"The buyers will come from a range of countries, including the United States, Australia, the Czech Republic, Canada, the Dominican Republic, Germany, Mexico and the United Kingdom," said Madden-Greig.
JAPEX 2014, she said, "has all the hallmarks of an outstanding and successful marketplace. Everyone is eager to present the new products, upgraded facilities, services, attractions and road network connectivity with the new north-south highway that will take Jamaica beyond being just a place for sun, sea and sand, opening up the resort areas of Port Antonio (in Portland) and Kingston, in particular.
"From all indications, our partners are excited to see what's new in Jamaica and are ready to sell," Madden-Greig declared.