High Interest in JA hosting of CMEx

Agri-Business, Sports and Faith Tourism Linkages Among Issues to be Discussed

KINGSTON, JAMAICA With a month to go before Jamaica’s hosting of the 19th Caribbean Media Exchange (CMEx) on Sustainable Tourism, there is growing interest from top-level media from across the region, North America and Europe to be part of the discussions examining the Caribbean’s primary industry.  Organizers have indicated that inquiries are still being received from journalists, even after the deadline has passed for submission of fellowship and scholarship applications.

The conference, which will take place in Jamaica’s business capital, Kingston, from September 30 to October 4, 2010 has also attracted interest from a number of groups and individuals with a passion for agri-tourism, faith-based and other tourism linkage initiatives.

The CMEx fall meeting will be held under the theme “Tourism: Linkages for Growth,” and will include strong representation of the Caribbean Diaspora in North America, which is a key area of focus. The rapidly growing multi-billion dollar faith tourism market and the expanding sports tourism market will also be explored at the conference:

“This conference presents an ideal forum for us to work together with our various stakeholders to strengthen the existing linkages and forge new alliances,” said John Lynch, Director of Tourism and Chairman of the Jamaica Tourist Board. “We look forward to an inspiring exchange of ideas, and to determining the best way forward to support sustainable tourism throughout the Caribbean region.”

In preparing the conference agenda, CMEx Vice President Lelei LeLaulu asked, “Tourism is the region’s biggest industry, but do we know how much it can influence other sectors of the economy?” LeLaulu, a development expert, noted that this is one of the questions that will be explored at the upcoming session in Kingston, set to attract leading journalists as well as movers and shakers from the tourist industry.

“Agriculture was the economic driver for centuries, and was eventually eclipsed by tourism — but we are convinced tourism can stimulate more specialized agricultural sectors like niche, organic, traditional and medicinal food production,” asserted LeLaulu.

“The global explosion of organic food consumption makes Jamaica and the Caribbean’s proximity to the North American market a potential bonanza. Agri-tourism, so profitable in Europe, is an area we will examine along with coffee routes, with estates often making more money than coffee sales,” asserted LeLaulu, who helped set up tourism projects in Central America and Africa.

Since 2001, CMEx has produced 18 conferences and symposia throughout the Caribbean and North America to underscore the value of the region’s largest industry, tourism, in improving the health, education, culture, environment and wealth of Caribbean communities, both at home and abroad, in a sustainable fashion.

The upcoming CMEx meeting is supported by the Jamaica Tourist Board, Jamaica’s Ministry of Tourism, and The Jamaica Pegasus Hotel.  Additional contributors include: Anse Chastanet Resort, Bahamas Ministry of Tourism, Barbara Pyle Foundation, Bay Gardens Resorts, Caribbean Business Enterprise Trust, Caribbean Broadcasting Union, CaribWorldNews, Coco Palm, Community Benefit Development, 4P Group, Jade Mountain, Marketplace Excellence, Michael D. Communications, Ruder Finn, and The SpeakEasy M.E.D.I.A. Foundation.

About the Jamaica Tourist Board

The Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB), founded in 1955, is Jamaica’s national tourism agency based in the capital city of Kingston. The JTB was declared the Caribbean’s Leading Tourist and Convention Bureau by the World Travel Awards (WTA) from 2006 to 2009, while Jamaica earned the WTA’s vote as the World’s Leading Cruise Destination, the Caribbean’s Leading Destination and the Caribbean’s Leading Cruise Destination, for the third consecutive year.

JTB offices are located in Kingston, Montego Bay, Miami, Toronto and London. Representative offices are located in Düsseldorf, Barcelona, Rome, Amsterdam and Tokyo.

For details on upcoming special events, attractions and accommodations in Jamaica go to the JTB’s Web site at www.visitjamaica.com, or call the Jamaica Tourist Board at 1-800-JAMAICA (1-800-526-2422). Follow the JTB on Facebook at www.facebook.com/visitjamaica, on Twitter at www.twitter.com/visitjamaicanow or on YouTube at www.youtube.com/aboutjamaicajtb.

About The Caribbean Media Exchange (CMEx)

The Caribbean Media Exchange produces interactive symposia that match journalists from the Caribbean, North America and Europe with representatives of the government, business hospitality and development sectors to discuss tourism policies aimed at improving the lives of Caribbean people.

Since its inception in October 2001, CMEx has helped improve the quality of media coverage of sustainable tourism in the Caribbean; increase the media’s participation in the design of sustainable tourism policies; remind government decision makers of the impact of tourism on other sectors of the economy; and highlight the necessity of tourism to the economies of small island states.

Its mission is “to be the premier communications organization promoting sustainable tourism, through media and smart partnerships, to create holistic wealth for all peoples, including those in Latin America, the Caribbean and other Emerging Markets.”

For additional details, visit  www.cmexmedia.org.

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