CHTA Unveils New Additions for Caribbean Travel Marketplace in Jamaica

The Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA)’s 42nd Caribbean Travel Marketplace, scheduled to take place at Jamaica’s Montego Bay Convention Centre from May 20-23, 2024, will feature new additions and three dedicated tracks.

During a recent “Caribbean Fireworks” press conference in Kingston, CHTA President Nicola Madden-Greig said, “This year we will be taking the event to a new level with three distinct tracks—The Business of Tourism: in the form of the Caribbean Travel Forum; the Marketing of Tourism: CHTA Caribbean Travel Marketplace; and the Community of Tourism: with our first ever Responsible Tourism Day.”

Caribbean Travel Marketplace will kick off with the Caribbean Travel Forum on May 20, focusing on “Visioning a New Tourism Landscape for the Caribbean.” The forum will include an awards luncheon to honor the Caribbean Hotelier of the Year and present Destination Resilience honors and the President’s Award for Excellence in Caribbean Tourism.

Responsible Tourism Day, which will coincide with Jamaica’s Labour Day on May 23, will include a focus on addressing climate change, sustainable development and agricultural linkages to emphasize responsible stewardship of tourism communities.

Madden-Greig highlighted the introduction of a dedicated meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions (MICE) itinerary for the first time, with 20 meeting planners attending the inaugural Caribbean MICE Exchange. She emphasized the significant potential of the MICE market, which generated over $900 billion globally in 2023 and is expected to double by 2032. “It is time for the Caribbean to focus on getting a bigger slice of that very significant pie,” she said.

Madden-Greig reported that 150 buyer companies are expected to attend Marketplace with significant interest from Asia, Europe and Latin America. To date, 86 buyer companies have registered, surpassing the number from last year’s event by more than double at this stage. Among these, 14 new companies from countries including Estonia, Italy, Netherlands, Peru, Poland, the U.K., and the U.S. have registered.

Reflecting on the Caribbean’s performance in 2023, Madden-Greig noted a 3 percent growth over 2019, according to data from ForwardKeys. She stressed the importance of continuing to drive growth, especially with over 59,000 new hotel rooms planned or in progress across the region, according to STR. “We cannot rest on our laurels as the potential for even more impressive growth is possible (and) events such as CHTA Marketplace must continue to deliver for our region,” she said.

Close to 1,000 delegates are expected to attend Marketplace with approximately 150 supplier companies from various Caribbean destinations already set to participate. Representatives from Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Aruba, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Cayman Islands, Curaçao, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, Saint-Martin, Sint Maarten, Trinidad and Tobago, Turks and Caicos Islands, and the U.S. Virgin Islands have registered to date.

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