The rumours were true the 2005 Caribbean Marketplace, the largest tourism spectacle in the calendar year, will be hosted in Jamaica. This was verified by director general of the Caribbean Hotel Association last Saturday (May 29) at the 43rd annual general meeting of the Jamaica Hotel and Tourism Association (JHTA).Caribbean Marketplace brings together Caribbean tourism suppliers from 36 Caribbean destinations to meet with qualified international buyers - wholesalers, incentive buyers, meeting planners, group buyers and dive shop owners - from around the world.
Caribbean hotel members of the Caribbean Hotel Association have the opportunity at Caribbean Marketplace to meet, discuss and contract for future business with international buyers from around the world.
It is suggested by some industry professionals that Jamaica could stand to make around US$60 million from an investment equating of around 2,800 room nights along with taxes and spending by those who are attending the event from across the globe. If this is weighed against the US$1.2 that the country has to spend on hosting the event then it is possible to see how effective the annual meeting is for the host nation.
Talking to the Jamaican Gleaner Horace Peterkin the first vice-president of the JHTA said, “The long-term effect the event will have on the island is much more than we can pay for.” He went on to comment that Jamaica is currently “the Buzz” and therefore people will want to attend.
The Gleaner also suggested that Paul Pennicook ‘the Tourism Director confirmed that the Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB) has already committed US$500,000 from its marketing budget to assist with the staging of the event. And the United Kingdom-based Virgin Holidays has written a cheque for US$250,000 to Jamaica. Industry players such as Sandals are putting up cash of US$100,000 and Half Moon US$50,000, with commitments already from the Wyndham group cemented.
Marketplace 2005 will be staged in a 50,000 square ft. tent on the Halfmoon property.