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VETERAN MARKETING PROFESSIONAL CALLS FOR CREATIVE TOURISM APPROACH
VETERAN MARKETING PROFESSIONAL CALLS FOR CREATIVE TOURISM APPROACH
September 26, 2022
MIAMI, Fla. (September 25, 2022) – An experienced marketing and hospitality industry professional believes this year’s World Tourism Day theme “Rethinking Tourism” is a clarion call for the private sector to focus on “dynamism and unbridled creativity” to ensure a strong, sustainable future for tourism.
“We have a rare opportunity to use our skills to ensure the rebuilding and reimagining of the tourism sector from the devastation of COVID-19 places people, their communities and their environment firmly top of mind,” said Beverly Nicholson-Doty, CEO of Figment Design, a leading Miami-based marketing and advertising agency.
The veteran tourism executive, who served as Commissioner of Tourism for the U.S. Virgin Islands (USVI) for 12 years, and also held the post of CEO of the Saint Lucia Tourism Authority, said that to achieve such a goal, “The private sector must partner with governments, communities, and non-governmental organizations around a shared vision for a more sustainable, inclusive and resilient sector.”
“Building a productive future tourism sector will depend largely on how we shape and disseminate our messages today,” said Nicholson-Doty, who warned that there isn’t much time to think because international tourism is already demonstrating a robust return. “The time is now and we must be intentional on this issue,” she stated.
“The lifting of travel restrictions, alongside the rebuilding of consumer confidence, will be important drivers for the sector’s recovery. So we have both an opportunity and a responsibility to help restore millions of frontline industry jobs around the world, while reducing poverty, enriching history, promoting culture and protecting the environment,” said Nicholson-Doty.
She reasoned that creativity, boldness and, most of all, commitment, are needed to ensure tourism rebounds fully: “We can fuel optimism by giving our all to create and offer solutions that go beyond what the sector currently imagines is possible.”
The marketing executive, whose achievements include creating a strategic plan for positioning the USVI and St. Lucia as preferred Caribbean destinations through the implementation of robust marketing initiatives, is a former Chair of the Caribbean Tourism Organization. She also served as the chief executive for the USVI Hotel & Tourism Association for more than a decade. As Commissioner of Tourism, she presided over the destination’s remarkable recovery after being slammed by Hurricanes Irma and Maria in 2017.
Figment is a full-service advertising and marketing agency of designers, website developers, and digital marketers.
World Tourism Day will be celebrated on Tuesday, September 27, 2022.
About Figment Design
Figment Design is a full-service advertising and marketing agency of enthusiastic designers, website developers, and digital marketers. The firm offers exceptional creative, the most comprehensive and competitive online marketing and media buying strategies in the industry, and the ability to track ROI with a state-of-the-art reporting system. For more information, visit figmentdesign.com.
Marketplace Excellence, 1812 Front Street, Suite 1814-3F, Scotch Plains, NJ 07076 | www.marketplaceexcellence.com
September 16, 2022
CDB president wants more innovative tourism
Caribbean Media Corporation (CMC)
George Town – The region’s institutions and governments must work together to offer an innovative tourism product that can support diverse economic activity and fuel economic growth, while also generating demand and enabling expansion, President of the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) Dr Hyginus “Gene” Leon said.
Speaking at the fourth Caribbean Aviation Day on Wednesday, Dr Leon advanced some recommendations to combat the ongoing challenges of regional connectivity focused on the aviation industry.
Noting the commitment of states to address some issues related to regional travel, he indicated that greater investment in the sector is needed.
This investment, which he said should be comprehensive and sustained, will support broader efforts by the CDB and governments to increase economic resilience, strengthen trade and positively impact the lives of Caribbean people.
“There is only one problem that we need to solve and that one problem we can loosely define as sustainable livelihoods of the people of the region,” he said.
Dr Leon added that there was a need for investment in operational and other aspects of the travel industry.
He said this required appropriate financing mechanisms, which would accommodate the cycles of the aviation industry, the establishment of an enabling environment with the requisite multilateral agreements in force alongside the strategic development of the sector, and the institutionalisation of sufficient safeguards to ensure its sustainability.
During the session entitled, “Transforming Regional Connectivity: The Role of the Private Sector in Financing Intra-Regional Travel”, the CDB president emphasised the symbiotic relationship and importance of physical, digital, and cultural connectivity to the region’s resilience ecosystem.
“The solution of the whole is through connectivity … we have an immediate problem that needs to be addressed,” he said.
Dr Leon said Caribbean institutions must urgently treat with the issue of connectivity beyond throwing money at the problem, which he described as “a short-term fix”.
In advocating for a broader approach to enable industry-wide resilience in aviation and the region’s people, he pressed for broader initiatives beyond investment in aviation in the longer term, including the pursuit of innovative tourism, the provision of a more diversified product supported by an education system that will promote all areas of the sector and genuinely make tourism a pillar of development.
The CDB president said while reliable, cost-effective air transportation is vital for the Caribbean’s tourism and hospitality industries and economies, a new paradigm is necessary for viable, sustainable intra-regional air services.
September 14, 2022
IATA warns Caribbean about price of travel
George Town – The International Air Transport Association (IATA) warned Caribbean destinations on Wednesday that they are “running the risk of pricing themselves out of the global travel and tourism market, where passengers have more choice than ever before”.
IATA vice president for the Americas, Peter Cerdá told the Caribbean Aviation Day conference in the Cayman Islands that the region “needs to remain an attractive tourist destination”, adding that often it is difficult to see the correlation between aviation fees and the service provided.
Cerdá told the conference that the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) forecasted a possible annual 6.7 per cent travel and tourism GDP increase between 2022 and 2023 if the right policies are implemented.
He said that as the world emerged from the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the good news was that people wanted to travel and this was made very clear by the ongoing recovery.
“Global passenger air traffic has reached 74.6 per cent of pre-crisis levels,” Cerdá told the event, which is being held under the theme “Recover, Reconnect, Revive”.
“A recurring theme is also taxes and charges levied on aviation. Yes, we understand that the provision of adequate infrastructure for aviation comes at a cost, but very often it is difficult to see the correlation between the level of costs and charges, and the actual service provided.”
To illustrate his point, Cerdá said that in some Caribbean destinations, if passengers are not arriving during “regular” local business hours, airlines are being charged significant overtime fees for each passenger to be processed by immigration and customs.
“Aviation is not a 9 to 5 business,” he said. “Global connectivity is around the clock. This process is simply unacceptable and makes no sense as those very same passengers are the ones staying at local hotels, eating at local restaurants, and fuelling local economies, no matter what time they arrive. So why penalise and charge airlines extra who transport these passengers?
August 25, 2022
BUENOS AIRES, Argentina -The Director General of the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS), Dr. Didacus Jules, has called for the institutional strengthening of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC).
‘’We find ourselves at this inflection point today with globalization in tatters, with regionalization becoming increasingly an amphitheater of both convergence of common interest and contestation for better advantage,” Jules told a weekend CELAC- Development Bank of Latin America (CAF) international seminar, on the theme “Latin America and the Caribbean, the future of integration”
“In the face of the multidimensional crises confronting us in this historical moment, it is urgent that we who are committed to CELAC revisit and sharpen our sense of purpose…our why must be clear enough that it justifies the effort and focuses the agenda,” Jules told the forum that focused on opportunities for integration within the CELAC space, and the role of the organization on the global stage.
In his presentation, Jules provided an assessment of CELAC’s current realities, describing the challenges presented by the current international context as ‘urgent’.
He said that the process of determining a more clinical, decisive, and incisive purpose for ‘CELAC must be grounded and informed by an understanding of history and must define the contours of the integration ambition that will drive it and the practical expressions of that ambition that will impact the trajectory of common good of all participating societies.’
Jules outline recommendations on behalf of the sub-regional grouping, including the institutional strengthening of CELAC, an increase in the political muscle of CELAC and its members, and the avoidance of the bureaucratic processes that hinder progress within the space.
August 04, 2022
THE CAYMAN ISLANDS CELEBRATES A TOURISM RECOVERY MILESTONE
Cayman Islands Airlift Capacity Report Shows Q4 2022 Seat Recovery Exceeding Q4 2019 Levels by 1%
- Distributed by CTO
Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands (17 August, 2022) – The Cayman Islands has achieved an important milestone in efforts to rebuild stayover tourism arrivals. An airlift capacity report created by the Cayman Islands Department of Tourism Research Unit that tracks flights to the Cayman Islands through Q1 2023 and compares capacity to 2019, shows the destination gaining seats in late 2022.
The report shows an increase of 1,253 seats in the fourth quarter of this year, representing a 1% increase in capacity over Q4 2019, and is positive indication of tourism restoration moving towards 2023.
“The airlift capacity report is a welcome indication of recovery as we look ahead to the 2022 – 2023 season,” said Hon. Kenneth Bryan, Minister for Tourism and Transport. “The PACT Government’s easing of the travel regulations has unlocked pent up demand. However, we cannot become complacent. Our focus is to drive growth from the markets where it will have the most positive impact. While we celebrate a net increase in available seats for Q4 2022, we must also continue to strive for opportunities to increase the number of flights, operating airlines and gateway cities.”
The net growth in seats is driven in part by:
Increased American Airlines connections through Charlotte and Miami,
Southwest’s strong feeder markets in Texas,
United’s growth in Washington D.C. and Newark
A new non-stop route from Baltimore-Washington.
However, many secondary markets with less frequent service, such as Philadelphia and Boston are pacing behind 2019 capacities, while historical stalwart Delta is still in a rebuilding phase with its connections through Atlanta.
The report also shows signs of longer-term growth in Q1 2023: with Dallas and Houston showing Year over Year growth of 5% and 40% respectively.
Cayman Airways is one of the destination’s most important advantages in mitigating any loss in capacity from U.S. carriers and can serve as a silver bullet for market development. The national flag carrier’s new non-stop route to Los Angeles accounts for 1,280 seats in Q4 2022 and could have a disproportionate positive impact in growing arrivals from southern California, through increased awareness and focused marketing and sales activity.
“Airlift is the oxygen of our islands’ tourism industry, and our global team has been working hard, engaging with the airlines to restore routes and seats,” said Mrs. Rosa Harris, Director of the Cayman Islands Department of Tourism. “A spirit of teamwork between the Cayman Islands Department of Tourism, Cayman Airways, Cayman Border Control, the Cayman Islands Airport Authority and the Civil Aviation Authority, coupled with cooperation with the private sector is the key to our success. As we continue to collaborate in rebuilding our stayover arrivals and welcoming visitors back to our beautiful shores, further increasing the Cayman Islands’ airlift remains a top priority.”
In Q1 2023, seats from New York are reported as trailing Q1 2019 by 8%. The tri-state area has traditionally been leading source market when temperatures are coldest and demand and accommodations rates, and subsequently tax revenue and on island visitor spending, are highest.
“Year-over-year growth from the New York market is always a priority, added Mrs. Harris. “Instilling confidence amongst the airlines and sharing booking pace and demand indicators as contextual data in partnership with our accommodations sector will help the Cayman Islands extend our momentum.”
Visitors are encouraged to visit the following web page to familiarize themselves with the current COVID-related travel entry requirements for visiting the Cayman Islands: https://www.visitcaymanislands.com/en-us/travel-requirements.
July 22 2022
Regional leaders discuss air transportation
St George’s – Grenada prime minister Dickon Mitchell confirmed on Wednesday that regional leaders met Tuesday to discuss the situation regarding air transportation in the Caribbean amidst concerns that both regional and international travellers are finding its very expensive and difficult to commute.
Mitchell, speaking at the weekly post-Cabinet news conference, told reporters that the meeting was chaired by the Barbados-based Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) and attended by leaders of the sub-regional Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS), a representative of Barbados, and the President of Guyana, Dr Irfaan Ali.
“It was agreed that we would retain a consultant to provide advice to the heads of the region as to how we can address the critical need to have, particularly air transportation, resumed at a level that existed prior to COVID-19,” Mitchell said.
Travel around the Caribbean has become increasingly difficult since regional airline, LIAT significantly scaled back its operations two years ago at the height of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Mitchell, who led the National Democratic Congress (NDC) to victory in general elections last month, said LIAT (1974) Limited “is bankrupt and that has been made clear and it is in receivership”.
“Where we are now is finding appropriate air travel for the OECS in particular, and whether it is LIAT, a new version of LIAT, or any other carrier, we are really interested in finding appropriate air travel for the OECS,” he said.
“I can certainly say it will not be LIAT (1974) because obviously that entity is bankrupt, and no one is reviving that entity. As you may be aware, I think there is LIAT (2020), which currently operates out of Antigua and has two planes in service.”
He added: “The question maybe whether that service is extended, whether a new entity is created. There is also Inter-Caribbean Airways, whether there is a combination of both of that.
“Where we are is that we want to ensure that there is appropriate air services in the Caribbean, and we are committed to helping in any way we can.”
Mitchell said the new initiative may mean “a direct financial contribution whether from an equity perspective, whether from a loan perspective”.
“It may mean looking at the taxes on landing charges and fees that are charged at our airport,” he said. “We are open to looking at all of the possibilities at coming up with the best solutions.”
He added that Grenada was committed to playing its part “in ensuring that regional travel returns for the benefit of Grenada”.
“Our regional tourism market has almost disappeared because of the lack of air connectivity to Grenada,” he said. “It is very difficult to travel from Grenada regionally, and it is very expensive to travel from Grenada to the international market.
“I think our diaspora citizens have been complaining about the costs of flights from the eastern seaboard of the United States to get to Grenada. Many of them have to stop in St Lucia … and take British Airways down from St Lucia to Grenada.
“As a government, we recognise the critical role that air travel plays in our economy, in our social life, and in our development, and therefore, we are committed to doing everything we can to improve that situation.”
Caricom leaders agreed at their summit last month in Suriname on a new modern Multilateral Air Services Agreement (MASA) that will allow for a new framework within which air transportation will operate in the region.
July 22, 2022
Bartlett says Caricom visa can fuel tourism recovery
Kingston – Jamaica Minister of Tourism Edmund Bartlett said the implementation of a regional visa regime among Caricom nations has huge economic potential for tourism recovery and development in the region.
Bartlett made his remarks at the start of the inaugural Organization of American States (OAS) high-level policy forum on building the resilience of Small and Medium Tourism Enterprises (SMTEs) in the Caribbean to disasters.
“A regional visa regime is something that we’ve been talking about,” he said. “I think if we are to build Caribbean tourism, then we must recognise that as individual states, we are too small to grow and to benefit from the recovery of tourism as it now stands, but together as a region, we can grow and we can benefit.”
Bartlett said the Caribbean’s tourism industry can stand to benefit from a visa regime in several ways, key among which is the establishment of a multi-destination tourism framework.
“A big advantage of this multi-destination is that it offers multiple experiences for visitors who are coming from long haul areas,” he said.
“Let’s say you’re coming from China and have three weeks of vacation. You don’t want to spend three weeks in Jamaica alone, but you can spend a week in Jamaica, three days there, two days here, another day somewhere else, and you come back to wherever the hub was. One fee, one package, one price, and we all benefit from it together.”
Additionally, he said that Caricom nations could also stand to benefit from sharing common airspace, where airlines flying into the Caribbean will pay one fee.,
He said the tourism visas could also facilitate pre-clearance arrangements for visitors coming into the Caribbean.
“It will allow them to clear customs in Jamaica and be domestic in Trinidad, Barbados, and so on, and what that will do in essence, it will bring more airlines into our space because the turnaround time for the aircraft will be significantly reduced as a result,” Bartlett said. “More rotations could be had, and thus more visitors can come in.
“The other element of importance is that it also provides a new skillset to be developed in the Caribbean area. What tourism will be doing is now saying we’re not just people who have bartenders, cooks, and housekeepers, but we are into technology, aviation, logistics, and procurement.”
The high-level policy forum is a two-day event with representatives from more than 50 countries across the Americas.
The first day featured plenary discussions on Challenges for SMTEs in the Caribbean on their Post-Disaster Business Continuity; and Crisis Communication Strategy and Procedural Guide for SMTEs.
The second day will feature presentations on Business Continuity Planning, Business Impact Assessment and Recovery, and Considerations from Tourism Ministerial and Disaster Readiness Policy Directorates.
May 30, 2022
CARIBBEAN TOURISM BOUNCES BACK
Hoteliers throughout the region have an optimistic outlook for what the future holds
FORT LAUDERDALE (May 30, 2022) – The Caribbean’s tourism renaissance is well underway, with some destinations approaching or exceeding record visitor arrival numbers.
Tourism officials cite pent-up traveler demand, the elimination or significant reduction in travel restrictions, the return of airlift, attractive deals and packages being offered by hotels, and a range of destination and hotel choices and upgrades that are now in place as key factors for the rebound.
Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA) President Nicola Madden-Greig applauded the region’s tourism, health and government leaders for their work over the past two years to position the region’s largest industry, tourism, to recover from the pandemic.
Madden-Greig pointed to the announcement last month by the World Travel and Tourism Council at its global summit in Manila, recognizing the Caribbean and Latin America as leading the global tourism recovery.
“Today’s traveler has many choices when planning a Caribbean getaway, thanks to the efforts of so many. Over the past decade we’ve seen an explosion of new and upgraded hotels and infrastructure improvements. During the pandemic many hotels and attractions used the time to improve on their product and service offerings, also recognizing the changing needs of the discerning traveler. We continue to offer accommodation experiences which appeal to the full range of traveler interests. Beyond our world-famous beaches and waters, travelers can experience our diverse cultural, culinary and historic treasures. And we’ve worked diligently to put in place health safety protocols which are effective and as nonintrusive as possible,” she stated.
Madden-Greig noted that, on average, hotels and resorts in the Caribbean will approach close to 80 percent of their record pre-pandemic performance this year, with some destinations setting all-time records. Cruise ships are returning, which is especially important to attractions, transportation providers such as independent taxis, and small- and medium-sized vendors. In addition, investment in new and upgraded hotels and resorts has not slowed.
“These are all great indicators which point to traveler confidence and demand for the Caribbean. We are seeing the fruits of years of hard work by the industry and governments throughout the region to invest in our tourism product and our people, and to broaden our appeal as we find new ways to provide a diverse and exciting experience for our visitors,” said Madden-Greig.
“Travelers to the Caribbean can discover our diverse offerings by land or sea, by a cruise vacation, or a coveted, longer in-destination stay for a more immersive experience. It has never been easier to do the Caribbean ‘your way’ and there are options for every interest and every budget. From high-end luxury accommodations on land or on sea to cozy cottages and apartments,” she added.
CHTA’s Acting CEO and Director General Vanessa Ledesma echoed these thoughts recently at the Caribbean Hotel & Resort Investment Summit (CHRIS). Pointing to data from ForwardKeys, Ledesma highlighted the strong interest in the region for summer and fall travel. “This is reflective of the travelers’ mindset with the accessibility of the region, brand identity and management of the pandemic being key elements that are driving demand,” she stated.
ForwardKeys, CHTA’s data partner, recently reported that the Caribbean and Latin America are leading the summer outlook in terms of the return of leisure travel, noting that five destinations – Aruba, Jamaica, Dominican Republic, Mexico and The Bahamas – are among the “most resilient” based on confirmed arrivals for the summer.
Developer confidence is also evident in STR’s most current pipeline report, with close to 30,000 rooms in development or under construction over the next five years.
Madden-Greig pointed to new challenges facing the industry, as inflation is resulting in higher operating and travel costs and the uncertainty in Eastern Europe impacts travel. “While the cost of travel increases worldwide due to these and other factors, we will continue to focus on providing value and exceptional traveler experiences,” stated the CHTA leader. “This is particularly important in our highly competitive global marketplace. Despite these challenges, we anticipate over the coming weeks and months to see a proliferation of deals and special offers by the industry to continue to appeal to travelers’ desire to come to the Caribbean.”
May 22, 2022
Caribbean Tourism Legend John Bell Receives CHRIS Lifetime Achievement Award
FLORIDA – John Bell, the first Executive Director of the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA), has been honored with the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award at the Caribbean Hotel & Resort Investment Summit (CHRIS), which he was instrumental in launching.
The coveted honor was bestowed on Bell on Wednesday for his significant contributions to the hospitality industry. Fellow tourism legend and former CHTA CEO and Director General Alec Sanguinetti accepted the award on Bell’s behalf.
Among his many achievements, Bell, who was the guiding force of CHTA (formerly the Caribbean Hotel Association or CHA) for 29 years, was lauded for recognizing the critical need to get investors and financial institutions engaged in the Caribbean hotel sector. He launched the first investment conference in 1997, triggering prolific growth in the region’s leading sector.
“We thought that it would be a good idea to bring the financial community into some kind of a direct contact with the hotel industry (so) we decided the best way to do that was to partner with another company, which in that case was the Financial Times of London,” Bell said. “We got them to become involved and use their clout to bring in the different players … and it worked extremely well,” he added.
In her tribute, current CHTA President Nicola Madden-Greig noted that “it is not often that we get to honor living legends in our field,” adding that Bell’s vision and energy “framed the key role of tourism in the economies of the Caribbean.”
Frank Comito, who served as CEO and Director General of CHTA until January 2021, described CHRIS, which Bell envisioned more than 25 years ago, as “the single most important factor which contributed to the phenomenal growth of Caribbean tourism.”
Comito asserted the growth and development of Caribbean tourism “stands on the broad shoulders of John Bell, whose drive, vision, and persuasive nature over three decades laid the foundation on which we continue to build today.”
Vanessa Ledesma, CHTA’s Acting CEO and Director General who was originally hired by Bell, pointed to the catalytic role the investment summit played in the development of Caribbean economies.
She cited The Bahamas, Dominican Republic and Jamaica as key beneficiaries as early host destinations for the investment conference in the 1990s.
“These destinations and the region have much to be grateful to John for his leadership, which helped to propel tourism’s growth throughout the Caribbean,” Ledesma said.
May 05, 2022
Executive Changes at Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association to Strengthen Partnerships
Miramar, FL (May 5th, 2022) – Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association (FCCA) – the trade association that represents the mutual interests of destinations and stakeholders throughout the Caribbean, Central and South America, and Mexico, along with Member Lines that operate over 90 percent of the global cruising capacity – has made changes to its executive structure. Adam Ceserano, formerly the Senior Vice President, has been appointed as the President, with Michele Paige, previously the President, becoming the newly formed position of Chief Executive Officer. The decision was directed by the FCCA Executive Committee, comprised of Presidents and above of FCCA Member Lines, and effective immediately.
“On behalf of FCCA and the Executive Committee, I can confidently say that we believe this change will build a stronger association,” said Micky Arison, Chairman of FCCA and Carnival Corporation & plc. “While maintaining Michele’s crucial roles in the new title as Chief Executive Officer and adding a separate President in Mr. Ceserano, who has proven to be an invaluable asset to FCCA in his 21-year tenure, the partners, members and destinations will have a more unified leadership team.”
“I am honored and humbled by this decision and the creation of the CEO role,” said Paige. “I look forward to being as active and involved as ever while continuing the same mission I have held for decades: to advance mutual benefits between destinations and cruise lines.”
Paige has effectively built the FCCA from the ground up with the direction of the Executive Committee. After spending 17 years in various positions at Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), she embarked FCCA in February 1992 as Director of Operations and Communications. She was appointed to head the association in January of 1993 as its Executive Director and then named President in March 1997. While leading FCCA, she has initiated numerous programs and forums to strengthen the association and, more importantly, the ties between the cruise industry and destinations and stakeholders, including: the annual FCCA Cruise Conference, the FCCA Foundation, the FCCA outreach programs, the FCCA membership programs and training programs, to name a few.
Ceserano joined FCCA in 2001 as the Manager of Marketing and was promoted to Director of Marketing and Sales in 2006. That same year, he was appointed to Vice President. Most recently the Senior Vice President, he worked in all aspects that FCCA operates and oversaw all day-to-day functions – with a focus on developing and strengthening FCCA membership programs, as well as the strategic partnerships between destinations and FCCA Member Lines.
“I am grateful for the faith that the Executive Committee has imparted in me with this appointment,” said Ceserano. “My goal has always been to strengthen the FCCA and our partners, and I am excited to find new ways to accelerate these objectives while maintaining a hands-on approach to touch on every program that FCCA operates.”
April 26,, 2022
CHTA TEAMS UP WITH HOSPITALITY, FINANCE & TECH ASSOCIATION
MIAMI, Florida (April 26, 2022) – The Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA) has signed a three-year agreement with the Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP®) association to expand the delivery of resources for members of both organizations.
The Memorandum of Understanding allows members to access finance and technology-related education on topics such as upscaling workforce automation and staffing, cryptocurrency, non-fungible tokens (NFTs), and cybersecurity. These master classes are being developed by CHTA, while experts are to be supplied by HFTP.
CHTA members also will benefit from complimentary exhibits registration for HITEC North America, the world’s largest hospitality technology conference, to be held in Orlando, Florida from June 27 to 30, 2022.
CHTA President Nicola Madden-Greig said that being technologically astute in today’s rapidly changing and challenging business environment is central to a robust tourism rebound in the Caribbean. “We must be au courant in leveraging technological tools in driving operational efficiency, executing strong marketing campaigns as well as delivering new customer experiences,” the CHTA president reiterated.
“We need to be much smarter when it comes to the application of technology across the region – from artificial intelligence to big data,” the Jamaican tourism leader opined, while expressing optimism concerning the potential impact this partnership could have on the region’s travel and tourism sector.
Vanessa Ledesma, acting CEO and Director General of CHTA, described HFTP as a hospitality industry authority in the areas of finance and technology. “This is such a great fit for CHTA,” she said, adding that more of the Caribbean can now be on the cutting-edge when it comes to implementing solutions to pressing challenges.
Like CHTA, HFTP leverages its experts, networks, research, certification programs, information resources and conferences and events to benefit its members. HFTP also owns the world’s only hospitality-specific search engine, PineappleSearch.com, which centralizes highly fragmented industry information into a single, free-to-use platform.
“The strength of HFTP relies greatly on the reach of its global network, collectively building a broad knowledge base by sharing expertise and resources,” said HFTP CEO Frank Wolfe. “Partnering with CHTA and the Caribbean, a region well-known for its hospitality industry, is a significant step to connecting our shared efforts to support education and innovation.”
Ledesma envisions members of the two associations learning from one another and identifying new avenues for collaboration as the travel and tourism sector emerges from the ongoing pandemic.
Sanovnik Destang, CHTA’s 2nd Vice President and Chair of the Technology Task Force, said the Memorandum of Understanding between two organizations will bring many exciting benefits to members, including access to HITEC’s Entrepreneur 20x pitching competition.
“For the first time ever, Caribbean-based hospitality tech entrepreneurs will get to participate in this competition with the application fee waived. This is a great opportunity for our members and we look forward to more opportunities like this through our partnership with HFTP,” he said.
CHTA TO HOST BACK-TO-BACK DISCUSSIONS ON INTRA-CARIBBEAN TRAVEL
501 East Las Olas Blvd, Suite 200/300
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301
February 28, 2022
LONG AWAITED CARIBBEAN TRAVEL MARKETPLACE SLATED FOR PUERTO RICO IN OCTOBER
MIAMI (February 28, 2022) – Caribbean tourism stakeholders are abuzz at the announcement by the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA) that its bedrock Caribbean Travel Marketplace (CTM), which brings together buyers and sellers of the region’s tourism products, will be hosted by Puerto Rico between October 3 and 5 this year.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in significant pent-up desire for fellowship with regional colleagues and business connections from North America, Latin America, Europe, Asia and elsewhere,” said Nicola Madden-Greig, President of CHTA.
“Over the past two years, there have been numerous changes across our destinations, which have added new products and services. Many hotels and attractions have undergone major renovations so this will be the time to find out in great detail all that the Caribbean now has to offer in one setting,” she added.
“The need to cement current partnerships and create new ones is critical,” she continued, as she saluted the team at Discover Puerto Rico for taking the bold step to partner with CHTA this year and deliver “the most diverse, exciting and meaningful Caribbean Travel Marketplace that will set the stage for the re-imagining of Caribbean tourism.”
“We are honored to be chosen as the host destination for Caribbean Travel Marketplace 2022 and excited to welcome its members alongside suppliers, buyers and travel advisors from around the world,” said Brad Dean, CEO of Discover Puerto Rico. “It is an incredible opportunity to showcase all that our island has to offer, as we look to an exciting future for our industry, including the most technologically advanced convention center in the Caribbean, the groundbreaking Distrito T-Mobile entertainment complex and the vibrancy of our culture paired alongside the magical natural wonders only found here.”
An added incentive for participation is the fact that CHTA, which represents Caribbean tourism’s private sector interests, will be marking its 60th anniversary, which Madden-Greig expects will make it one of the association’s most memorable in-person gatherings.
“Marketplace will provide traditional and new buyers – from across all segments and representing varied specialties – with a distinct opportunity to explore the wide range of offerings of CHTA’s 33 member destinations as they connect with numerous Caribbean travel suppliers,” stated Vanessa Ledesma, acting CEO and Director General of CHTA.
“There is also the added allure of Puerto Rico as host. The Territory, like much of the rest of the region, has truly reinvigorated its product and many buyers from around the world will want to come and see for themselves the hotel and resort upgrades, the wide range of meeting facilities, the vibrant culinary and entertainment scene as well as exceptional attractions,” said Ledesma.
Caribbean Travel Marketplace 40 will build on last year’s virtual edition, which enabled the trade association to generate strong global awareness about the region.
CHTA believes the region is well-poised to experience a sustained robust recovery from the pandemic. While 2022 bookings have been encouraging to date, maintaining and growing business into 2023 and beyond will require hard work and strong partnerships, the likes of which will be forged during CTM, a major catalyst for growing Caribbean tourism.
Registration details will be available soon.
For more information, visit www.chtamarketplace.com.
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