CORAL GABLES, FL-Caribbean Marketplace 2010 is welcoming buyers from around the world to meet with suppliers to create strategies to accommodate the pent-up demand for Caribbean travel that has evolved during the recent economic downturn. Staged by the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA), along with the Puerto Rico Convention Bureau, Puerto Rico Hotel and Tourism Association, Puerto Rico Tourism Company, MasterCard and Virgin Holidays, Caribbean Marketplace takes place at the Puerto Rico Convention Center in San Juan, Jan. 10-12, 2010.
Pent-up demand for warm weather vacations has grown extensively during the recent economic downturn as consumers have postponed their trips in anticipation of better times. As the economic outlook improves, the desire for leisure getaways will be unleashed upon the Caribbean with high expectations of increased bookings in 2010 and beyond. Caribbean Marketplace 2010 in San Juan is the perfect opportunity for wholesalers, tour operators and meeting planners to meet with hoteliers and tourist office officials to plan and prepare packages to accommodate potential vacationers.
"With a projected tourism recovery just around the corner, Caribbean Marketplace 2010 represents an unprecedented opportunity for wholesalers and other buyers in the industry to secure extremely lucrative contracts," said Enrique De Marchena Kaluche, president of CHTA.
"Operators and wholesalers present at Caribbean Marketplace will be best positioned to reap the maximum rewards from what experts are predicting will be a large influx of tourism over the next several years," De Marchena Kaluche added.
"Puerto Rico is honored to host the most important Caribbean Marketing conference at a moment of crucial significance for the region's tourism industry and economy," said Jaime López Díaz, Executive Director of the Puerto Rico Tourism Company.
Caribbean Marketplace is the requisite business-to-business marketing event for the Caribbean, where buyers meet with hospitality suppliers to network and negotiate contracts to facilitate travel over the next few years. CHTA's proprietary appointment matching program guarantees maximum networking opportunities with the Caribbean's top suppliers at an efficient schedule.
"To us, Caribbean Marketplace is the best way to kick off our Caribbean contracting year. The pre-scheduled appointment format is beneficial because you can control how much time you spend with your suppliers and know that you won't be interrupted," said John Taker, purchasing director, Virgin Holidays. "Meetings are compressed into two of the most productive days of the year, and we get to enjoy that lovely Caribbean hospitality in the evenings. It is a lot of hard work, but a lot of fun too," Taker added.
Caribbean Marketplace 2010 is expected to be even larger than the 2009 event, which saw the number of booths top the 400 mark for the first time in a decade. 12,292 appointments were scheduled in 2009, second only to the record set in 2008.
"One common misconception is that an influx of tourism - as is expected in 2010 - will be spread evenly throughout the travel industry. This could not be further from the truth," said Alec Sanguinetti, CHTA's Director General and CEO.
"In reality, the lion's share of new business goes to the most savvy wholesalers and tour operators who are poised for success with strong marketing initiatives and contracts already in place prior to an industry bounce back, adding further importance to January's Caribbean Marketplace in Puerto Rico," explained Sanguinetti.
Wholesalers, tour operators, meeting planners and other buyers can register for Caribbean Marketplace here. Log-in codes for online registration have been sent to all previous participants. Those who have not received a log-in code should contact CHTA at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Buyer registration is $299 per person (after the third buyer delegate, the fee is reduced to $99 per additional delegate) and includes pre-scheduled appointments (if registration is received before Dec. 11, 2009), listing in the electronic Delegate Directory, two buffet lunches, opening cocktail reception, buffet dinner and entertainment at the Caribbean Night event, entrance to all business and social functions, and shuttle bus service between host hotels and the Puerto Rico Convention Center. Hotel accommodations are NOT included in the registration fee for buyers or suppliers.
The Sheraton Puerto Rico Convention Center Hotel & Casino, opening November 2009, is the host hotel for the conference. Located adjacent to the Puerto Rico Convention Center, the new 503-room property will accommodate both business and leisure travelers, offering exceptional meeting facilities, a full-service casino and resort-like amenities, including a sundeck/pool, spa and retail space. Sheraton Puerto Rico is the first new full-service hotel and casino built in San Juan in more than 10 years.
CHTA has arranged for special hotel rates for Caribbean Marketplace delegates at the Sheraton Puerto Rico as well as a number of hotels throughout San Juan. The deadline for special hotel rates is Dec. 11, 2009. For a complete list of host hotels and reservation procedures, visit www.caribbeanhotelandtourism.com/Marketplace.php.
In addition to the Puerto Rico Convention Bureau, Puerto Rico Hotel and Tourism Association and Puerto Rico Tourism Company, sponsors of Caribbean Marketplace 2010 include: host sponsors MasterCard and Virgin Holidays as well as AMResorts, Caribbean Travel & Life, Eventstar, Choice Hotels International, Intercontinental Hotels Group, Interval International, St. Maarten Tourist Bureau, Starwood Caribbean Collection, Tropical Shipping, and Utell Hotels & Resorts.
Additional sponsorships are available for companies seeking to maximize their exposure at the crucial business-to-business marketing event. Prospective sponsors are encouraged to download the Caribbean Marketplace 2010 sponsorship form here or contact CHTA for more details.
For other types of registration, or for more information, call CHTA at 305-443-3040, e-mail: email@example.com or visit http://www.caribbeanhotelandtourism.com/Marketplace.php.
Caribbean Hotel & Tourism Association
The Caribbean Hotel & Tourism Association (CHTA) facilitates the full potential of the Caribbean hotel and tourism industry by serving members' needs and building partnerships in a socially responsible and sustainable manner. CHTA was founded in 1962; it is the voice of the Caribbean hospitality industry for the development of the region in the highly competitive and sophisticated environment of international tourism. Today, tourism is widely recognized as a pivotal industry in the economy of the region - and CHTA functions as the common denominator for this industry in a region of diverse nationalities, languages and styles, identifying mutual problems and marshalling the resources of the active and allied members to devise solutions. CHTA represents all facets of the hospitality industry with more than 725 member hotels and 525 allied members.
For more information, visit http://www.caribbeanhotelandtourism.com.