Black Meetings and Tourism

January / February 2018

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B M & T ••• January/February 2018 ••• 25 AREA GUIDES J A M A I C A JAMAICA SHATTERS VISITOR RECORDS BY DOSWELL INGRAM Jamaica is the largest English-speak- ing Caribbean island, and the third largest in the region. Jamaica's 4,411 square miles of terrain boasts towering mountain ranges, expanses of lush vegetation as well as long stretches of clear, sandy beaches. Jamaica closed out its 2017 tourism year, shattering all previous records for the fast-growing industry. "Last year was a signature year for growth in tourism; we ended the year with 4.3 million visitors coming to Jamaica. That wasn't an ordinary record because it meant that nearly 500,000 more visi- tors came to Jamaica in a single year, which has never happened anywhere in this part of the Anglophobe Caribbean," disclosed Minister of Tourism, Hon Edmund Bartlett. Given the islands' beautiful scenery and lush habitat, it is no wonder meeting planners and leisure travelers alike are flocking to this Caribbean region to vacate and book conferences. The Montego Bay Convention Centre has combined world-class facil- ities, with cutting edge design, giving you and your guest's unparalleled space, flexibility and service in this vibrant Caribbean Island. The Centre is only a 15-minute drive from the Sangster International Airport and is also centrally located near several of Montego Bay's world-class resorts. The Centre has five Conference Rooms, three Caucus Rooms, Reception Foyer, Dining Block, several Delegates Lounges and Offices. Each conference room is equipped with simultaneous translation facilities for six languages, Conference Room #1, the largest, capable of accommodating up to 1,200 persons has an observers' gallery, public and press galleries. The centre also proudly boasts the pres- ence of industry veteran Dittie Guise as it general manager. Be sure to reach out to her if you are thinking about bringing your conference to Jamaica. In Jamaica business can be conducted in more settings than just in a con- ference style room. The island flourishes with numerous options of golf courses offering confer- ence attendees a p l e a s u r a b l e approach at doing business on the beach. In the wake of recent hurricanes that impacted the area, plans are underway to establish the first Global Tourism Resilience Centre in Jamaica. The cen- tre, which was first announced during the recently concluded UNWTO Global Conference at the Montego Bay Convention Centre, St. James, will be tasked with creating, producing and gen- erating toolkits, guidelines and policies to handle the recovery process. It will also include a Sustainable Tourism Observatory, which will assist prepared- ness, management and recovery of crises which impact tourism and threaten economies and livelihoods. Meetings in Jamaica are by no means all work and no play. Attendees can enjoy beach activities and golf, as well as shop- ping and the bustling nightlife. The guided tours the islands offer are also highly sug- gested. U.S. Citizens traveling to and from Jamaica must present a valid passport when leaving and or re-entering the United States. All visitors are required to travel with a return ticket or onward ticket for entry into Jamaica. There are three international airports in Jamaica conveniently located across the island. They are Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay, Norman Manley International Airport in Kingston, Jamaica's capital city and the Ian Fleming International Airport in picturesque Ocho Rios. • • • STATS • • • HOTEL ROOMS Secrets Wild Orchid Montego Bay 350 Beaches Ocho Rios 222 Half Moon 197 Hilton Rose Hall 488 Iberostar Rose Hall Beach & Spa 319 EXHIBITION FACILITIES Montego Bay Convention Center total exhibit space 57,525 sq. ft. meeting rooms 12 Jamaica Convention Center total exhibit space 19,800 sq. ft. meeting rooms 2 WHO YOU GONNA CALL? Visit Jamaica 800-JAMAICA Montego Bay Convention Centre Photo Credit: Visit Jamacia

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