Koen Hietbrink (right), general manager, Marriott hotel, Kingston, in discussion with J. Wray & Nephew representatives (from left) Chana Hay, commercial director; Howard Britton; and Levi Bloomfield.
Speed Networking #2 a success
The second Speed Networking event of the Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association (JHTA), in association with the Ministry of Tourism & Entertainment and the Jamaica Manufacturers' Association on March 17, 2015, further strengthened tourism linkages in Jamaica.
The event at The Jamaica Pegasus built on the success of the inaugural one hosted at the Half Moon, Montego Bay on January 21, 2015, giving representatives of the local manufacturing companies an opportunity to market their products and services to hoteliers.
Nicola Madden-Greig, president of the JHTA, noted that "the Speed Networking events give the manufacturers an opportunity to truly understand the needs of the industry by meeting face-to-face with key decision makers".
She said, "As we focus on the changes in the international market, local suppliers to the industry must also get attuned to the demands of the new traveller the millenials, the technology driven and those seeking new and unique experiences in both products and services."
Noting that JHTA spearheaded the events to give the local suppliers of goods and services an opportunity to market to the local tourism sector, Madden-Greig said, "They also have a chance to impress chain hotels and get into the regional/international market."
As such she said, "The Speed Networking events can provide a platform for growth of exports from our shores and the demand for our products and services by over three million visitors each year."
The Minister of Tourism and Entertainment Wykeham McNeill said that he was pleased that the manufacturers and hoteliers were meeting again "to forge new partnerships and linkages towards strengthening and showcasing brand Jamaica".
He said that the collaboration between tourism and manufacturing is "a demonstration of the real commitment to the concept of backward and forward linkages, which can make a great contribution to the development of a truly sustainable tourism sector".