Above: the Montego Bay Convention Centre
By Alexander Britell
MONTEGO BAY — What’s ahead for Caribbean tourism in 2014?
After a 2013 that saw increases in hotel occupancy and tourist arrival numbers, the Caribbean is now looking to keep up momentum in the 2014, with almost 700 delegates gathering at the Montego Bay Convention Centre in Jamaica this week for Caribbean Travel Marketplace.
The two-day conference, which officially kicked off on Sunday evening, is bringing together hundreds of tour operators, tourism officials, hoteliers, government Ministers and others involved in the region’s largest economic driver.
Caribbean Travel Marketplace, which is put on by the Caribbean Hotel & Tourism Association, is one of the leading conferences in an industry that is the Caribbean’s largest economic driver.
The conference was kicked off by speeches from Evelyn Smith, president of the Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association, CHTA President Richard Doumeng and Jeff Vasser, the newly-appointed CEO of the CHTA.
The CHTA already held a major Board of Directors meeting and Leadership Conference earlier this week at the Half Moon Resort.
Last year’s Travel Marketplace, which was held at the Atlantis Resort on Paradise Island in the Bahamas, saw more than 12,700 meetings, with delegates from 22 countries.
On Monday, organizers said the conference had attracted 277 companies from 20 countries and over 11,560 pre-scheduled business-to-business appointments.
Updated: Jan. 13 at 8:34 AM.