Tourism officials prepare for Caribbean travel marketplace

The Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA) says registration for this month’s Caribbean Travel Marketplace, to be held at the Puerto Rico Convention Center in San Juan, is “strong.”

Following a meeting with the Host Committee in San Juan last week, CHTA said that demand among travel industry stakeholders to do business in the region was encouraging, given the continued interest and registration response for the annual event.

CHTA Director General Frank Comito said plans for Marketplace 2018, to be held from January 30 to February 1, were now in the advanced stages, and that the association was on track to eclipse the 1,000-delegate mark before the start of the event.

“This speaks not only to the resilience of the Caribbean’s bread and butter tourism industry but also to the fortitude of the Caribbean’s people,” said Comito before returning to CHTA’s headquarters in Miami.

Comito said Puerto Rico, which was among Caribbean islands impacted by September’s two Category 5 hurricanes, is on the rebound and “more than ready to host this year’s edition of Caribbean Travel Marketplace.

“It is remarkable what the good people at the Puerto Rico Convention Center District Authority, the Puerto Rico Tourism Company, Meet Puerto Rico, and the Puerto Rico Hotel and Tourism Association have been able to accomplish as they prepare to welcome this marquee event to their island,” he said.

Close to 500 supplier delegates from more than 200 companies across 30 countries will join another 100-plus media representatives at this year’s event, CHTA said.

It said more than 200 delegates from close to 100 buyer companies, 19 of which are new to the conference, including four new MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions) companies, have registered. Buyer companies hail from Argentina, the Bahamas, Brazil, Canada, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Mexico, Peru, Puerto Rico, Spain, the United Kingdom, the United States and Uruguay.

“And there’s still more than a week to register,” said Comito, urging more attendees to leverage the networking opportunities at the event, where buyers – tour operators, online travel agents and MICE planners – are matched with Caribbean suppliers, such as hotels, tour companies and tourism departments, during a busy two-day program featuring thousands of pre-scheduled appointments.

CHTA said it produces Caribbean Travel Marketplace in collaboration with the Puerto Rico Convention Center District Authority, the Puerto Rico Tourism Company, Meet Puerto Rico, and the Puerto Rico Hotel and Tourism Association.

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