Dominican Republic Prepares to Host CHIC This Weekend

The Dominican Republic is preparing for a massive gathering of industry professionals as the Caribbean Hotel Association (CHA) presents CHIC, the premier annual event of the Caribbean hospitality industry, in the region`s newest and fastest growing meetings destination, the BÌÁvaro-Punta Cana area, in the east of the Dominican Republic.

The Caribbean Hotel Association is set to stage an impressive line-up of industry speakers to appear at CHIC - the annual Caribbean Hotel Industry Conference - which is being held at the Bávaro Convention Centre, one of the largest convention centres in the Caribbean and Latin American area, from June 22-25, 2003.

The theme, “Unconventional Convention”, gives an insight to the laid-back and relaxed atmosphere that CHIC is promoting for the event this year, however, the line-up of speakers representing all facets of the travel and tourism industries will be more than stimulating.
In addition, attendees will enjoy activities ranging from foundation golf events benefiting the scholarship fund, to dinners and trade expositions. Together with some remarkable networking opportunities, the programme consists of four general sessions and four workshops that not only promise to be incredibly inspirational, but also thought-provoking and fun.

The event will open with words from keynote speaker, Tom Murray, Chief Operating Officer for the American InterContinental Hotels Group PLC, followed by an evening of cocktails. During General Session One, moderator James Burba will delve into the dramatic changes in tourism that have taken place in the past year. CTO Chairman Honorable Obie Wilchcombe, CHA President Simón Suarez, and Peter Odle, Managing Director of Mango Bay Resorts, will describe their perspectives on understanding the new mindset and attitude of the general consumer.
Focusing more on public perception of the Caribbean, the second general session will reveal, “What`s In and What`s Out” as panelists Bill Meade from PA Consulting, AAA`s Representative, Corey Dalling and Laura Begley of Travel + Leisure offer their techniques for analysing trends in global hospitality.

The speaker line-up for the third general session will prove to be no less than stellar as Paul Brown from McKinsey & Co, Allen Chastanet from Air Jamaica, Bob Troni representing American Airlines, Emanuel Schreibmaier of Sol Melia Hotels & Resorts, and Pamela Richards, chair of the CTO Aviation Committee, from USVI Department of Tourism, unveil tourism`s success among the airline industry and what will be needed to stay competitive in today`s travel environment.


In the final general session, the audience will go “From Business Suits to Bathing Suits” while Rich Cortese from Wyndham Hotels & Resorts uncovers what exactly individual hoteliers must do to capitalise on meetings and incentive travel. Panelists Paul Flacket from IMEX: The Worldwide Exhibition for Incentive Travel Meetings and Events, based in Germany, Richard Doumeng of Bolongo Beach, St. Thomas, USVI; Alberto Gurrola with Fiesta Americana Grand Coral Beach in Cancœn; and Myrtle Dwyer representing Half Moon Golf Beach Club in Jamaica, will unearth the best tools to tap into one of the fastest growing market segments in the industry.

All-in-all, CHIC 2003 looks set to be an outstanding experience, and of course, the team from The Verybest Spas Magazine and Spas Weekly Online Publishing, will be in attendance. Delegates wishing to meet with publisher, Nicola Brookes, can contact her at [email protected]

For those spa professionals yet to book - I will call upon a quote from CHA Allied Member, Griffin Carrison, who summarises the event perfectly :
“I have never enjoyed a trade show and conference as much as I enjoy CHIC, year after year. I have done many, many trade shows over the years; we currently do five a year and are getting ready to add a couple more, but nothing even comes close to CHIC. It is unique, the potential customers are unique, and the rewards are attainable if you are willing to participate. Besides, how many opportunities during the year does a person get to attend three or four days of socialising and having a great time while at the same time advancing their business interests? I can`t think of very many. CHIC is fun, and isn`t that one of the great lessons of life? Aren`t we here in this reality to enjoy life and grow from the experience?”

The preliminary programme and registration forms are still available at CHIC. Questions, exhibitors and media representatives, can contact Melissa Rivera, at [email protected] For hoteliers, non-exhibiting allieds, and tourist board, contact Patricia Pérez, at [email protected] And for sponsorship opportunities, contact Vanessa Ledesma, at [email protected]

Visit the Caribbean Virtually

About the Dominican Republic

Twenty-five years ago, the east coast was little more than a solitary stretch of beach and scrub-bush. Today, it is unquestionably the Caribbean’s most popular and fastest growing tourist destination - considered one of the top ten destinations for Americans travelling abroad. The area embraced by Macao and Punta Cana, including Bavaro, now is home to more than 30 large tourist complexes with around 20,000 hotel rooms.

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