The highly anticipated Jamaica Product Exchange (JAPEX) returned in-person September 11 – 13 to Montego Bay for the first time since 2019 and organizers are hailing it as a success. Held at the Montego Bay Convention Centre, it provided networking, panel discussions, tourism product updates and more for attending media, travel agents, tour operators and tourism industry partners from across the globe with destinations represented including the U.S., U.K., Canada, Latin America, Europe, India, Japan, and the Caribbean.
“As Jamaica’s tourism sector continues its strong recovery, it was deeply gratifying to see the return of JAPEX met with such enthusiasm and acclaim,” said the Hon. Edmund Bartlett, Minister of Tourism, Jamaica. “The opportunity to share news and information about Jamaica while showcasing all that the destination has to offer visitors was particularly welcome. We were very pleased to see the event so well-attended and hope that our industry partners learned even more about what makes our island so unique and appealing for travelers.”
JAPEX kicked off with an educational session on topics including what’s new on island, Gen AI, destination marketing, targeting the health and wellness market, and engaging the Diaspora.
Later that evening, attendees were treated to a Welcome Reception sponsored by Chukka Ocean Outpost, Sandy Bay, featuring live entertainment, music and fun. Over the following two days, JAPEX was in full swing with a busy trade show floor while various tours and activities were scheduled for attendees including a special breakfast for media with Minister Bartlett. The event concluded with a musical celebration, food and beverages hosted by Sandals Montego Bay that was enjoyed by all.
Among the news shared about Jamaica, Minister Bartlett announced that Jamaica will have a total of 1.1 million scheduled worldwide airline seats this fall, the largest amount the destination has ever received for the period. He also noted key new hotels scheduled to open in 2024, including the first 1,000 rooms of the 2,000-room Princess Hotel in Hanover, the 650-room Riu Palace Aquarelle in Falmouth and the 450-room Unico in Montego Bay.
“For January through August 2023, destination earnings grew by some U.S. $400 million dollars or 16.2% over the same period in 2019 to $2.9 billion in earnings,” added Donovan White, Director of Tourism, Jamaica Tourist Board. “So, we are extremely ecstatic that we are growing in the right places and growing steadily. This year, our forecast for stopover visitors will increase over 2019 by 5% to 2.814 million compared to 2.68 million and we are projecting U.S. $4.2 billion in earnings.”
With the continued growth of Jamaica’s tourism sector and an increasing number of international visitors flocking to the island, there are also a number of infrastructure developments underway. These include expansion and modernization at Sangster International Airport and Norman Manley International Airport as well as new highway construction projects designed to improve traffic flow and open more areas of the island to tourism.
For more information on Jamaica, please go to www.visitjamaica.com.
ABOUT JAMAICA TOURIST BOARD
The Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB), founded in 1955, is Jamaica’s national tourism agency based in the capital city of Kingston. JTB offices are also located in Montego Bay, Miami, Toronto and Germany and London. Representative offices are located in Berlin, Spain, Italy, Mumbai and Tokyo.
In 2022, the JTB was declared ‘World’s Leading Cruise Destination,’ ‘World’s Leading Family Destination’ and ‘World’s Leading Wedding Destination’ by the World Travel Awards, which also named it the ‘Caribbean’s Leading Tourist Board’ for the 15th consecutive year; and the ‘Caribbean’s Leading Destination’ for the 17th consecutive year; as well as the ‘Caribbean’s Leading Nature Destination’ and the ‘Caribbean’s Best Adventure Tourism Destination.’ In addition, Jamaica earned seven awards in the prestigious gold and silver categories at the 2022 Travvy Awards, including ‘‘Best Wedding Destination – Overall’, ‘Best Destination – Caribbean,’ ‘Best Culinary Destination – Caribbean,’ ‘Best Tourism Board – Caribbean,’ ‘Best Travel Agent Academy Program,’ ‘Best Cruise Destination – Caribbean’ and ‘Best Wedding Destination – Caribbean.’ Jamaica is home to some of the world’s best accommodations, attractions and service providers that continue to receive prominent global recognition.
For details on upcoming special events, attractions and accommodations in Jamaica, go to the JTB’s website at www.visitjamaica.com or call the Jamaica Tourist Board at 1-800-JAMAICA (1-800-526-2422). Follow the JTB on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and YouTube. View the JTB blog at visitjamaica.com/blog.