JAPEX 2023 Kicks Off In Montego Bay

The Jamaica Product Exchange (JAPEX) is officially underway in Montego Bay — marking the first time Jamaica’s biggest inbound travel industry conference is being staged in person since 2019.

“I want to say firstly how very happy I am to be with you together again, having been together apart for more than two years,” Jamaica’s minister of tourism Edmund Bartlett noted during a welcome reception at CHUKKA Ocean Outpost at Sandy Bay. “Jamaica today boasts of a recovery that is the number one in the entire English speaking Caribbean.”

Over 235 delegates representing 20 different countries, including Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Czech Republic, Dominican Republic, France, India, Italy, Paraguay, Peru, Poland, Mexico, Spain, UK, USA, Uruguay are on location for the event featuring airlines, hoteliers and other industry personnel.

With lift to the destination continuing on a positive trajectory and many new rooms in the pipeline, Bartlett expects to make new records in tourism this year.

“As we stand, we are about to have the best year in the history of tourism in Jamaica for stopover arrivals, 2023. But more importantly, this is going to be the best year for revenue for earnings for Jamaica in its history and for the first time we’re going to break the US$4 billion dollar mark for earnings from tourism for the people of this beautiful country of Jamaica,” he shared. “In terms of investment, Jamaica’s investment horizon remains strong and bullish. We will be having over the next 10 to 15 years 20,000 new rooms. And next year alone, we’ll be adding 2,000 new rooms for you to sell for us when you go back to your destinations.”

Some of the upcoming openings include the 352-room Hideaway at Royalton Blue Waters, an adults only property set to debut in Montego Bay in late November, as well as the 451-room UNICO 18º77º Hotel Montego Bay, which is slated to open in 2024.

Along with two days of business meetings taking place on the trade show floor between buyers and suppliers, JAPEX 2023 got underway yesterday with a day of industry briefings, presentations and panel discussions covering a wide variety of topics like AI in the travel industry and opportunities in the growing health and wellness sector.

Stay tuned for more coverage tomorrow.