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Caribbean Marketplace attracts largest attendance ever recorded

This year’s Caribbean Marketplace, held in Jamaica from January 9 to 11, attracted the largest number of attendees ever. Over 1,500 delegates from around the world arrived at Half Moon, Montego Bay for the conference. As the largest tourism marketing trade show in the Caribbean Region, Caribbean Marketplace 2005 brought tourism industry buyers and suppliers together to conduct business and to review Jamaica’s unique tourism product.Tourism officials, delegates, and journalists all praised Jamaica’s step-by-step involvement in this year’s Caribbean Marketplace, making it the most successful yet.Ê Berthia Parle, President of the Caribbean Hotel Association (CHA), said, “We must also thank the government and people of Jamaica, the Ministry of Industry and Tourism, the Jamaica Tourist Board, Virgin Holidays, American Express, the Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association, Half Moon, Montego Bay and Sandals Resorts - as well as thank all those individuals who have worked tirelessly with such dedication and passion to bring this about. This is a perfect example of public-private sector collaboration, resulting in a win-win situation, for the destination and Caribbean tourism.”

Paul Pennicook, Director of Tourism, Jamaica, commented, “We are pleased at the success of Caribbean Marketplace 2005. CHA’s decision to host the event here demonstrates its trust and knowledge that our country knows and understands tourism, and works to build this important industry, not only for Jamaica, but for the region as a whole.”

The Jamaica Tourist Board, Jamaica Hotel & Tourist Association, Half Moon, Montego Bay, along with many other partners, were members of the host committee which worked diligently for almost a year on the planning of the event.

During the Jamaica Tourist Board’s press conference held at Caribbean Marketplace, officials announced a major tourism investment by several Spanish hotel chains, which are building 13 new hotels in Jamaica, with a value of approximately US$550 million over the next five years.

Including these developments, an anticipated 5,000 new rooms will be added to the sector within five to 10 years. In addition, Prime Minister of Jamaica, the Most Hon. P.J. Patterson announced plans for the construction of a major Conference Center in Montego Bay, giving Jamaica a more advantageous position in attracting the meetings market.