Tourism and Linkages to Other Sectors to be Explored at Four-Day Media Confab KINGSTON, JAMAICA - With tourism a mainstay of Jamaica's economy, contributing significantly to the island's gross domestic product (GDP), the capital city, Kingston, is readying itself to host the 19th staging of the Caribbean Media Exchange (CMEx) on Sustainable Tourism. The conference, which takes place from September 30 to October 4, 2010, will explore a variety of issues including the extent to which tourism stimulates other sectors of the economy. Organizers of this popular regional media and tourism gathering noted that CMEx will target journalists, editors and young leaders from the Caribbean, North America and Europe as well as development specialists and representatives of the hospitality, civil society and government sectors. Most of the sessions will be at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel, the official conference venue. The theme "Tourism: Linkages for Growth" will give delegates an opportunity to examine how tourism impacts and contributes to economic development, and to assess the relationship with other sectors like manufacturing, agriculture and micro enterprises. The important role of the region's preeminent academic institutions will also be highlighted. Neighboring Kingston hotels will take part in CMEx by hosting opening and closing receptions, special events, working lunches and dinners. "We recognize the value of strong media partnership in the marketing and promotion of a brand and Jamaica is once again honored to welcome CMEx to our shores," said John Lynch, Director of Tourism and Chairman of the Jamaica Tourist Board. "We look forward to an engaging dialogue and to exploring ideas on the best way forward with our media and trade partners at home and across the region." Journalists and editors - and young people aged 15 to 21 - can apply for a limited number of scholarships and fellowships. Scholarships cover airfare, accommodation and registration, while fellowships cover accommodation and registration. Application and general registration forms are available at: www.cmexmedia.org. "The sustainability of tourism in the region is reliant on ensuring vigilance in the media and excellence among young journalists, and on actively engaging the Caribbean community abroad," said Bevan Springer, President of the Caribbean Media Exchange. Springer said the upcoming CMEx, the fifth hosted in Jamaica, will again have a strong focus on the Caribbean Diaspora and faith-based tourism as key contributors to Caribbean sustainable development. The deadline for awards applications has been extended to Friday, August 20, 2010. Applications previously received will be given priority consideration. General participant registration is on a first come, first served basis. Due to the intimate nature of the CMEx gatherings, space is limited. Since 2001, the Caribbean Media Exchange (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, 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. Other contributors include: Anse Chastanet Resort, Barbara Pyle Foundation, Bay Gardens Resorts, Caribbean Business Enterprise Trust, Caribbean Broadcasting Union, CaribWorldNews, Coco Palm, Community Benefit Development, Jade Mountain, Marketplace Excellence, 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/jamaica, on Twitter at www.twitter.com/visitjamaicanow or on YouTube atwww.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 for 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 Martkets." For more details, visit www.cmexmedia.org.