Gay Nagle Myers
Gay Nagle Myers

InsightThe countdown is on. The annual Caribbean Travel Marketplace, sponsored by the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association, opens for business Jan. 20 to 22 at Atlantis, Paradise Island, Bahamas.

This year’s theme remains the same as it has for past conferences: “All Tourism, All Caribbean, All Business.”

Advance registration indicates new faces at this year’s event, including 16 tour operators from France and several each from Belgium, Ireland, Poland and Switzerland as well as a delegation from Russia.

The Caribbean Travel Marketplace, described as the region’s most important and largest tourism marketing event each year, puts global buyers and Caribbean suppliers in face-to-face contact with one another through a series of prescheduled, 20-minute business appointments on the trade floor.

Last year’s appointment schedule totaled 12,250, up from 11,880 in 2011. The 2013 numbers are expected to top 2012’s appointment volume as well as delegate attendance, according to conference planners.

The event is an opportunity to “interact, meet, conduct business, network, seal contracts and show off the product line,” according to John Murphy, executive vice president of EFM Hospitality, which operates and manages the Magdalena Grand Beach Resort in Tobago.

For Karolin Troubetzkoy, executive director of Jade Mountain and Anse Chastanet in St. Lucia, it “offers the one opportunity each year to meet everyone in the industry in one place and do business. It is the perfect setting.”

Attendance is “mandatory for anyone involved in Caribbean business,” according to JetBlue’s Janid Ortiz-Phillips.

“The event generates lots of energy and excitement as well as creating opportunities in a solid business setting,” she said.

Marketplace details are available at www.caribbeanhotelandtourism.com.

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