Onsite: Jamaica to Add 10,000 Hotel Rooms in Next Five Years

OCHO RIOS, JAMAICA-At the Jamaica Product Exchange (JAPEX) 2007 at the Sunset Jamaica Grande Resort, the first day included a media luncheon in which Horace Peterkin, president of the Jamaica Hotel & Tourist Association, said Jamaica plans to add about 10,000 new hotel rooms in the next five years. A chunk of those new rooms will come in the form of a development project called Harmony Cove, which will cost "hundreds of millions of dollars," Peterkin said. The development will include four different upscale properties each with about 500 rooms. Peterkin also said last week marked the best Jamaica Product Exchange in the event's history. He said 86 suppliers (represented by 302 delegates) attended the event in Ocho Rios as opposed to the 75 who attended last year. There were 56 buyer companies this year with 88 buyer delegates, up from 83 last year. Also, there were 1,153 appointments scheduled this time last year and 1,248 appointments already scheduled this year. Peterkin says 150 travel agents will be attending Tuesday's second and final exchange.