Event Blog

    User Rating: 5 / 5

    Star ActiveStar ActiveStar ActiveStar ActiveStar Active

    The Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association (JHTA) is spearheading an action in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, through its COVID-19 Ambassador Programme.

    The initiative is taking the everyday worker in the tourism sector and transforming them into national ambassadors, tasked with public education and promotion of COVID-19 safety protocols at the community level.

    This is done by training these selected ambassadors in the various accommodations and attractions on safety protocols developed and being successfully utilised in the sector for the well-being of local and international tourists.

    So far, the programme has been launched in a number of tourism hotspots across the country, to include Ocho Rios, Montego Bay, Negril and Kingston. The initiative is to be launched in Portland and St. Elizabeth.

    President of the JHTA, Clifton Reader, tells JIS News that the project intends to fill a gap in the delivery of safety response measures in communities situated in and around tourism corridors.

    “In September [2020], we launched the programme that takes the trained staff from within hotels and other facilities to go out into their communities to sensitise the people and train them in the proper handling of the COVID-19 protocols, because we realised that there was a gap in the delivery,” Mr. Reader says.

    “When staff go home they will be exposed and they could really bring back COVID-19 to the hotels. So, through them we are making sure we educate and protect the community, and by protecting the community we protect the staff when they are not in the walls of the hotels, and by virtue, the guests will be safe as well,” he adds.

    Mr. Reader points out that more than 30 ambassadors have, so far, been recruited under the programme.

    He notes that in addition to community sensitisation, they have handed out more than 10,000 masks to communities islandwide.

    These masks were contributed by the Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF) as well as private entities and donors.

    “In Ocho Rios [for instance], what we did was to go into the town square. We have town criers, we work with the Ministry of Health and Wellness to issue flyers, to go into communities and really educate people. We not only gave out the masks but we teach them how to use it and how to sanitise,” Mr. Reader says.

    “We have partnered with some companies to get sanitisers [and] our employees (ambassadors) have been wonderful. Some of them make their own masks to distribute and some of them even go to the supermarket and buy stuff to distribute to people who are not fortunate,” he adds.

    Following the Negril launch in December 2020, the ambassadors handed out more than 2,000 masks, in addition to sanitisers and pamphlets.

    A Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association (JHTA) COVID-19 Ambassador (left), engages a visitor at a health station erected at a section in Negril square, at the launch of the Negril Chapter, in December 2020.

    Mr. Reader emphasises that the virus has no respect for anyone, and Jamaicans would do themselves and the country a great service if they adhere to the safety protocols.

    “No matter who you are, COVID-19 can affect you and it is coming closer to every one of us. We are hearing of increased numbers to the point where stricter actions are being taken. So, we have to get serious about this thing,” he says.

    A Negril recruit of the COVID-19 Ambassador Programme, Vanessa Ralston, tells JIS News that she will be playing her part in educating the residents of her home community in Grange Hill on how to better protect themselves from the virus.

    She adds that handing out masks and finding solutions to COVID-19-related issues in her community will also be at the forefront of her duties.

    “This is a very important programme, because I think persons need to be more aware of everything that is going on around us, the importance of doing the right thing and following the guidelines,” Ms. Ralston says.

    At the Negril launch, Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, endorsed the initiative and noted that more masks are on the way for communities bordering the tourism hotspots.

    User Rating: 5 / 5

    Star ActiveStar ActiveStar ActiveStar ActiveStar Active

    For the first time in its 30 years, the 2020 edition of the Jamaica Product Exchange (JAPEX) will take place virtually. On November 9-10, the Jamaica Hotels and Tourism Association (JHTA) and the Jamaica Tourism Board (JTB) will engage travel business partners, providing an excellent forum for the leading providers of Jamaica's tourism product meet with travel wholesalers and tour operators from around the world.

    Dubbed JAPEX Live 2020, this year's interactive virtual platform will bring JAPEX to larger audiences than ever. Attendees will have the opportunity to explore the tourist regions of the destination from afar; Enter an exclusive meeting room and participate in live chats online, while being immersed in news and information about the destination. An Awards Center designed to surprise and delight attendees with gifts will complete the experience.

    “JAPEX has always been a highlight on Jamaica's tourism calendar and we look forward to another successful exhibition,” said Donovan White, Jamaica's Director of Tourism. “While we cannot meet in person this year, we have an exciting opportunity to participate virtually, giving our delegates the opportunity to learn about new destination offerings, hear how our protocols have been implemented to ensure the safety of residents and visitors, as well how to close new deals; all of which will positively impact and strengthen our tourism industry ”.

    There will be elements of a traditional trade fair, including an opening, with a keynote address by Jamaica's Minister of Tourism, H.E. Edmund Bartlett. Attendees can virtually explore the fair floor using an interactive Google map, which will take them to the tourist areas of Negril, the South Coast, Montego Bay, Ocho Rios, Kingston and Port Antonio. Videos will be played automatically to engage attendees, and exhibitor stands will be interactive, offering content to share and chat functionality.

    Other activities will include informational and training sessions and pre-scheduled one-on-one meetings with travel partners via video. The innovative scheduling software includes Instant Scheduler, where users can instantly book meetings on providers 'calendars, as well as Auto Scheduler that displays available times on both parties' calendars. The meeting rooms are powered by ZOOM with full functionality including video, screen sharing, and live messaging.

    Star InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar Inactive

    The 30th edition of JAPEX (Jamaica Product Exchange) happened from November 9-10, 2020 and TravelPulse Canada had the chance to participate in the event, which was held for virtually this year.

    As usual, the event brings together the best of hotels and attractions Jamaica has to offer, along with several partners including travel agents to enable them to develop new products and know how to better sell the destination.

    “JAPEX is the most important trade fair in our industry because Jamaica depends on tourism for a living, and this is where our partners meet and build relationships,” said Angella Bennett, director of the industry. Jamaica Tourism Board in Canada.

    “We are really trying to deploy the best that Jamaica has to offer this winter under the exceptional circumstances of COVID and demonstrate what we are doing with our protocols to welcome our guests in a transparent and safe manner.”

    During the event, the 2,000 or so participating travel agents learned more about the famous "resilient corridor" established by the Jamaican government.

    “The resilient corridor runs from Negril to Port Antonio and along the coast and it contains all of the hotels along this coast that have been approved under the COVID resilient corridor. So they are all certified, all approved, and all follow the same protocols. We also have a corridor on the south coast and in the corporate sector in Kingston. Protocols have been established, staff are trained and are equipped to deal with any situation that may arise.

    “One thing we would like to highlight is that inside this hallway, where the protocols for hotels and attractions are located, we have no known cases of COVID, which means our protocols are working. We are very proud of that,”said Bennett.

    Another advantage of staying in this corridor is that tourists do not have to quarantine themselves upon arrival.

    “After you check in, you go to your hotel, have a good time, and you can book combo stays in this corridor. You are also allowed to enjoy the attractions that are part of this corridor. It's the safe space for people to have what we call 'safecations'. ”

    Open to tourism since June 15, Jamaica welcomed some 200,011 international tourists between January and September 2020, which generated tourism revenue of around USD $231 million.

    Of this number, approximately 8,400 visitors came from Canada, the second largest international market for the destination. Of course, these numbers cannot compare to those of last year (4.3 million international visitors, including nearly 450,000 Canadians), but Bennett is optimistic about the recovery in tourism and the market. Canadian.

    “Because Canada is one of the countries at low risk of contracting COVID 19, Canadian visitors do not have to show proof of a negative PCR test for COVID upon arrival.”

    However, all visitors, including Canadians, must complete a Jamaica travel authorization request form no later than five days before arriving on the island.

    A new comprehensive insurance plan covering COVID as well as other events up to natural disasters (Jamaica Cares) will also be mandatory for visitors from the end of November. It will cost around $ 52 per person.

    Regarding air service, all major Canadian carriers have resumed or are preparing to resume their routes to Jamaica for the winter from Montreal, Toronto and Calgary, bringing the number of seats available to approximately 450,000.

    Star InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar Inactive

    Buyers from India, Luxembourg, Mexico, Panama, Peru and Spain will, for the first time, attend this year's staging of Jamaica Product Exchange (JAPEX), the country's annual tourism trade show that helps generate heavy visitor traffic.

    “We have delegates from the traditional markets like the USA, Canada and Europe, including England and Germany, and we're looking forward to welcoming those from new markets,” Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association (JHTA) President Omar Robinson said.

    “We are encouraged by the continued interest in brand Jamaica, year after year,” said Robinson, who noted that JAPEX provides a forum to strengthen partnerships between local industry players and international tour operators, wholesalers and travel agents.

    He noted, too, that hundreds of travel agents from the USA, Canada and the Caribbean, as well as a strong media contingent, will be in attendance at the trade show, where buyers and suppliers will engage in one-on-one meetings, updates and negotiations.

    The JHTA, which hosts of the annual tourism trade show in collaboration with the Jamaica Tourist Board, is reporting steady registration by local suppliers and international buyers for the event scheduled for September 9-11 in Montego Bay.

    In addition to booths mounted by various JHTA-member hotels and attractions and allied companies, there will be a special pavilion for members of the Tourism Linkages Council featuring agencies like JAMPRO, the Jamaica Business Development Corporation and the Jamaica Manufacturers & Exporters Association.

    Robinson said that JAPEX, in addition to providing the opportunity for buyers and sellers to meet in an atmosphere conducive to doing business, affords buyers a chance to experience all the destination has to offer, including the cuisine, culture and most importantly, the people.

    “No video, no brochure, no advertisement could ever be as valuable as being on island, enjoying Jamaican hospitality first-hand and having a powerful reference point to sell our attributes to their customers,” Robinson said.

    “Each year our suppliers, our JHTA members, take full advantage of the opportunity to showcase their accommodations, attractions, and allied services and the deals they make and business they do at JAPEX help keep their businesses successful,” Robinson explained.

    JAPEX is open to registered buyers and suppliers, while local dignitaries and industry specialists are invited for special social events including the Sandals Welcome Party that has become a tradition whenever JAPEX is held in Montego Bay.

    Star InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar Inactive

    Jamaica’s hospitality and tourism industry is preparing to welcome international and local buyers to the 2019 Jamaica Product Exchange (JAPEX) – the most important business generator for Jamaica’s tourism industry.

    The Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association (JHTA), hosts of the annual tourism trade show in collaboration with the Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB), is reporting steady registration by local suppliers and international buyers from traditional and new markets for the trade show at the Montego Bay Convention Centre.

    Noting that “JAPEX is a celebration of partnerships between local industry players and the international tour operators, wholesalers and travel agents”, JHTA President, Omar Robinson said. "We are encouraged by the continued interest in brand Jamaica, year after year.”

    “We have delegates from the traditional markets like the USA, Canada and the UK including England and Germany and we’re looking forward to welcoming those from new markets like India, Luxembourg, Mexico, Panama, Peru and Spain,”

    He noted too that hundreds of travel agents from the USA, Canada and the Caribbean, as well as a strong media contingent will be in attendance.

    JAPEX features two full days of buyer/supplier one-on-one meetings, updates and negotiations. In addition to booths mounted by various JHTA-member hotels and attractions and allied companies, there will be a special pavilion for members of the Linkages Committee of the Ministry of Tourism featuring agencies like JAMPRO, the Jamaica Business Development Corporation and the Jamaica Manufacturers & Exporters Association.

    Robinson said that “JAPEX in addition to providing the opportunity for buyers and sellers to meet in an atmosphere conducive to doing business, affords buyers the opportunity to experience all the destination has to offer including the cuisine, culture and most importantly, the people. No video, no brochure, no advertisement could ever be as valuable as being on island, enjoying Jamaican hospitality firsthand and having a powerful reference point to sell our attributes to their customers.”

    “Each year our suppliers, our JHTA members, take full advantage of the opportunity to showcase their accommodations, attractions, and allied services and the deals they make and business they do at JAPEX, help keep their businesses successful”, Robinson explained.

    JAPEX is open to registered buyers and suppliers while invited local dignitaries and industry specialists join for special social events including the Sandals Welcome Party that has become a tradition whenever JAPEX is held in Montego Bay.

    live-2.0-footer.png
    © Copyright 2021 Jamaica Product Exchange. All Rights Reserved.

    Search