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Caribbean Travel Marketplace 2014 Sees Increased Interest From International Buyer Companies From 20 Countries

Caribbean Travel Marketplace 2014
resulted in creating a lot of excitement with onsite negotiations for new packages and promotions as hoteliers, along with ministers and directors of tourism, met with wholesalers, tour operators and airlines at the Montego Bay Convention Centerin Jamaica recently.

"There were 11,560 pre-scheduled appointments between Caribbean hoteliers, destinations and attractions and the buyers from around the world and hundreds of additional on-site appointments with many of the wholesalers, tour operators, and airlines" said Richard J. Doumeng, president of CHTA.  "We were especially pleased with the high level of optimism and enthusiasm at Marketplace this year, a clear indication that interest is definitely increasing in the region," Doumeng added.

Produced by the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA), Caribbean Travel Marketplace is the region's largest and most important marketing event of the year and annually attended by more than 1,200 delegates.

First time buyers came from Chile, Czech Republic and Hungary, indicating that awareness is spreading to new source markets for vacationers.  A total of 108 tour operators and wholesalers came from 20 countries this year representing: Argentina, Bahamas, Barbados, Canada, Chile, Czech Republic, Dominican Republic, France, Germany, Hungary, India, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Mexico, Poland, Russia, Spain, United Kingdom and United States.

"We brought a large team of product managers to meet with as many hotels as possible as Virgin Holidays is committed to expanding our share of the market and increasing the number of holiday-takers coming to the Caribbean," said Amanda Wills, managing director for Virgin Holidays, one of the largest operators driving business from the UK to the region.  "We want to be able to sell more hotels in more Caribbean countries and Marketplace affords us the opportunity to develop the packages with the hotels and destinations," Wills added.

"The Caribbean region is a top focus for us, and Marketplace is where we begin to lay the groundwork for the years to come," said Alex Zozaya, CEO of Apple Leisure Group, one of the largest North American operators with three of the strongest wholesaler companies, Apple Vacations, Travel Impressions and, as part of their vertical integrated portfolio. "Our goal is to grow each of the companies independently and therefore drive more business to our Caribbean hotel partners in destinations across the region," Zozaya added.

Caribbean Travel Marketplace affords hotels and destinations of all sizes the opportunity to meet face-to-face with wholesalers selling Caribbean vacation travel over the course of two days of business meetings.  There were 746 delegates from the hotel and tourism sector across the Caribbean representing nearly all destinations in the region. Combined with the 293 registered buyer delegates and 87 marketing representatives and media, there were 1,246 attendees at Caribbean Travel Marketplace 2014. 

Conference Organizers & Sponsors

In addition to CHTA, the Jamaica Hotel & Tourist Association, the Jamaica Tourist Board and the Jamaica Ministry of Tourism, sponsors of Caribbean Travel Marketplace 2014 include: host sponsors Interval International, MasterCard and Virgin Holidays as well as platinum sponsors AMResorts, AskMe, Best Western International, Bonnier Corp., Henkell & Co., STR, Starwood Caribbean, The Knot, Tambourine, The New York Times, Travelzoo, Trinidad & Tobago and TripAdvisor, and gold sponsors Adara, Condé Nast Traveler, JackRabbit Systems Inc., Martha Stewart Weddings and Wedding Wire.

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