"In rolling out a reenergized Caribbean Travel Marketplace, we look forward to showing the world how the courage, determination and hard work of the Puerto Rican people and tourism industry has prevailed in view of the challenges they are currently facing," said Frank Comito, Director General and CEO of the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA).
Comito said the Puerto Rican people's resilience in rebuilding communities and getting their tourism and hospitality sector up and running is inspiring. "It is important for the entire Caribbean region, our industry's travel partners and those who book travel to the Caribbean to show their support. Already, most of the region's tourism industry is open for business and we anticipate by the end of the year most of the hotels in Puerto Rico will be welcoming guests, as will a growing number of hotels from the other impacted destinations," he noted.
Marketplace is produced by CHTA in collaboration with the Puerto Rico Convention Center District Authority, the Puerto Rico Tourism Company, and the Puerto Rico Hotel and Tourism Association.
CHTA President Karolin Troubetzkoy said Caribbean hoteliers, destination representatives and industry stakeholders who rely on doing business with the region will have a unique opportunity to learn about the region's diverse offerings, new products, improvements and upgrades, and niche market opportunities. "Marketplace also connects people, renewing business relationships and establishing new contacts," she said.
Troubetzkoy also commended the people of Puerto Rico and other affected destinations. "Faced with so much adversity, our people have exhibited tenacity, bravery and dedication in helping their brothers and sisters rebuild their lives while committing to welcoming visitors back to their shores," she commented.
Omar Marrero, Executive Director of the Puerto Rico Convention Center District Authority, thanked CHTA and the wider Caribbean for showing solidarity with the Territory during this challenging period, declaring, "¡Nosotros estaremos listos! (We will be ready!) We look forward to welcoming our Caribbean family and our national and international partners to our island - come and do business, that's the best way to help us rebound in the new year." Marrero is also the Executive Director of the Puerto Rico Ports Authority and the Puerto Rico Public-Private Partnerships Authority.
The Puerto Rico Convention Center will see a dynamic array of meetings between hotel and destination representatives, online travel agents, tour operators and MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conventions and Exhibitions) planners with a busy program of thousands of pre-scheduled appointments. Marketplace 2018 will also see a wider range of suppliers eager to promote their new contributions to this fast growing sector.
"In addition to the traditional partners and Marketplace participants, we want to stimulate and maintain these fresh connections to ensure current and future suppliers can remain abreast of the expanding needs of tourism at the region's largest and longest running marketing event. Our team at CHTA is constantly adjusting to a changing and competitive travel environment, so we can exceed delegates' expectations," Troubetzkoy said.
In 2017, Caribbean Travel Marketplace, hosted by The Bahamas, attracted 114 buyer companies from 20 countries. More than 1,100 delegates from 31 countries participated in more than 10,000 pre-scheduled appointments.
The event opens on the evening of Tuesday, January 30, preceded by educational sessions earlier in the day. For more information, visit www.chtamarketplace.com or call +1 305 443-3040. Details about registration can be found at www.chtamarketplace.com/ registration-fees.
Caribbean Travel Marketplace, produced by the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association in collaboration with the Puerto Rico Convention Center District Authority, the Puerto Rico Tourism Company, and the Puerto Rico Hotel and Tourism Association, is hosted by Interval International, JetBlue Vacations, and Mastercard. Platinum Sponsors include ADARA, AMResorts, Cable & Wireless, CaribbeanWE, Figment Design, Marketplace Excellence, OBMI, STR, TravelClick and Travelzoo. Lexicon Travel Technologies, Meredith Corporation, and The New York Times have joined the event as gold sponsors.
For further information, visit www. caribbeanhotelandtourism.com.