After his successful career as Program Director for the Caribbean Hotel Association Charitable Trust (CHACT), former US Virgin Islander Chris Sharpless, Jr. joins Rockwell Tours, www.rockwelltours.com, as Director of Business Development in mid February. Rockwell Tours has been serving Caribbean hotels and travel agents as a wholesale tour operator for 25 years. In December of 2002, it moved to Hollywood, Florida and launched a state-of-the-art web site with package booking technology. Sharpless will lead the expansion of the private label booking engine for hotels to both consumers and travel agents using this new technology.
In making the announcement, CHA Director General and CEO Alec Sanguinetti thanked Sharpless for his commitment to CHACT and to the regional industry through the years, in particular his crucial role in the launch of the “Life Needs the Caribbean” regional branding campaign, at a time when the September 11 downturn in business confronted Caribbean tourism.
“Chris moves on to this new assignment when the Caribbean tourism outlook is positive, due in great measure to his pioneering work with the Caribbean Hotel Association Charitable Trust (CHACT),” said Sanguinetti, who noted that this transition is not at the expense of the marketing programme: “In fact, Chris remains in the industry to play a slightly different role in increasing Caribbean business and we are pleased with his decision.”
Sharpless added, “I am very happy to be joining the Rockwell team and look forward to our continued close collaboration with both CHA and the Trust.”
CHACT launched the multi-million dollar Life Needs the Caribbean campaign to market and promote the Caribbean as a single destination. The Trust, a public/private sector alliance, unites major hotel chains, airlines and credit card companies with the Caribbean Tourism Organisation, and with both CARICOM and non-CARICOM nations.
Sharpless brings with him more than 17 years of Caribbean hotel experience.