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VIRTUALLY THERE: Jamaica, DR tourism trade shows go virtual

2020’s status as the year of virtual travel continues with news that two prominent travel trade shows for Jamaica and the Dominican Republic will take place digitally this year. Jamaica’s annual show JAPEX, and the Association of Hotels and Tourism of the Dominican Republic (ASONAHORES), both in early November, join a long list of online conferences this fall (WTM London, SeaTrade, TIAC, ACTA, Atout France, Travel Leaders Network, to name but a few, and not to mention several virtual travel industry and consumer trade shows).

(As an aside, we in the media have also been introduced to the newly conceptualized notion of the “Virtual Press Trip”).


Designed to group several annual Dominican Republic travel trade shows together – including DATE – the tourism ministry supported “ASONAHORES Virtual Fair 2020” is intended to promote the relaunch of the country’s tourism sector in a “semi face-to-face way” through pre-scheduled digital business meetings and a program of activities relevant to representative of travel agencies, tour operators, event co-ordinators, incentive companies and more.

More information and registration details can be found at

Jamaica Product Exchange (JAPEX), Nov. 9-10

For the first time in its 30 years, the 2020 edition of Jamaica Product Exchange (JAPEX) will be held virtually. On Nov. 9-10, the Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association (JHTA) and the Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB) will provide a distinct forum for leading suppliers of Jamaican tourism product to meet with travel wholesalers and tour operators from all over the world.

Dubbed JAPEX Live 2020, the interactive virtual platform will enable attendees to explore the destination’s tourism regions from afar; drop into an exclusive networking lounge; and participate in online live chats while immersing themselves in destination news and information.

There will be elements of a traditional tradeshow including a launch with keynote presentation by Jamaica’s Minister of Tourism Edmund Bartlett. Attendees can virtually explore the tradeshow floor using an interactive Google map that will take them to the resort areas of Negril, South Coast, Montego Bay, Ocho Rios, Kingston and Port Antonio; videos will auto-play to engage attendees; and exhibitor booths will be interactive, offering sharable content and chat functionality.

Other activities will include breakout and training sessions and one-on-one pre-scheduled video meetings with travel partners. The innovative scheduling software includes Instant Scheduler where users can book meetings instantly on suppliers’ calendar as well as the Auto Scheduler showing available times in both parties’ calendars. The meeting rooms are powered by Zoom with all the functionality including video, screen share and live messaging.

For more, go to

First published at Travel Industry Today

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