Black Meetings and Tourism

Nov/Dec 2010

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THE INAUGURAL CARIBBEAN MEETING & INCENTIVE TRAVEL EXCHANGEIN JAMAICA PROVES A SUCCESSFUL VENTURE The Caribbean Meeting & Incentive Travel Exchange (CMITE) ended on a high note in Jamaica on Sunday, October 10, at the Iberostar Grand Hotel Rose Hall. The invitation- only, appointment-based event, organized by Questex Media Group LLC in collaboration with the Society of Incentive Travel Executives (Site), served to bridge 50 Caribbean suppliers with 50 top meeting and incentive buyers from North America and China. “With Jamaica serving as host for MARICA BULLOCK-JOBSON the inaugural Caribbean Meeting & Incentive Travel Exchange, this was an ideal opportunity for A-list buyers who book the Caribbean to witness the destination’s growing tourism product and our ability to cater to the needs of groups of all sizes,” said Marcia Bullock-Jobson, the Jamaica Tourist Board’s regional director, Groups & Conventions. “An event of this nature also helps to position the entire Caribbean region as the epicenter for meetings and incentives groups.” Many participating buyers were impressed with the format of CMITE, which enabled them to explore the destination’s meeting facilities, especially in light of the anticipated opening of the Montego Bay Convention Centre. The event allowed buyers to schedule daily one-to-one appointments with suppli- ers, as well as participate in optional site visits to Jamaica’s hotel and resort facilities. Suppliers included hotels, resorts, spas, destinations, tour operators, destination management companies and cruise lines from the entire Caribbean. “I have not been to Jamaica for 10 years, and once I got back here I wondered why I waited so long,” saidCaroline Johnson, a U.S. buyer. “Jamaica is beautiful, and the hospitality is beyond anything you experience anywhere else. CMITE has allowed me to reschedule a meeting for Jamaica in May of next year for 100 people in the financial sector. I’m very pleased about the improvements that have taken place in the product sector of Jamaica’s tourism, and that will make my job of selling much easier.” By special request, buyers from China were also invited by the Jamaica Tourist Board to participate in CMITE. Linda Ruan, who was among the six-member Chinese delegation noted, “We were very impressed with the show and the new developments here in Jamaica. We have been quietly trying to grow the Jamaican market in China, and what we have seen and experienced here will make our job much easier. CMITE is a wonderful concept and I’m certain that Jamaica will be one of the more popular destinations in our list of countries being sold to the MICE marketplace.” For more information on Jamaica’s offerings for meetings and incentive groups go to ANTIGUA, BARBUDA CELEBRATE WORLD TOURISM DAY Islanders Join In International Coastal Clean-Up Outreach The islands of Antigua and Barbuda celebrated Inter- national Coastal Clean-Up Day withMinister of Tourism, the Honorable John Maginley and music icon Kathy Sledge, prin- cipal singer of the group Sister Sledge and a frequent visitor to the destination, leading citizens in both the clean up and a tree planting initiative. “These community programs will help highlight the impor- tance of biodiversity to tourism and the role of sustainable tourism in the conservation of life on Earth and will help safe- guard the range of unique species and ecosystems that make up our twin islands and ultimately, our planet,” said Tourism Minister John Maginley. World Tourism Day is a thematic event held every year on September 27th. Its purpose is to foster awareness, among the international community, of the importance of tourism and its social, cultural, political and economic value. The event seeks to address global challenges outlined in the UN Millennium Development Goals and to highlight the contribution the tourism industry can make in reaching these goals. The theme “Tourism and Biodiversity” is particularly perti- nent in 2010. Concerned by the continued loss of biological diversity, the United Nations Assembly declared 2010 the International Year of Biodiversity. The year coincides with the target adopted by governments in 2002 to achieve, by 2010, a significant reduction in the rate of biodiversity loss. Black Meetings & Tourism November/December 2010: 33

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