St. Thomas hotelier and industry veteran Richard J. Doumeng has been named the 2009 “Caribbean Hotelier of the Year” by the Caribbean Hotel & Tourism Association. Doumeng was honoured with the award on January 10 before an international audience of hospitality and tourism industry leaders at Caribbean Marketplace 2010, hosted at the Puerto Rico Convention Center in San Juan.
Doumeng joins the ranks of preeminent lodging executives as the 32nd recipient of the Caribbean Hotelier of the Year. Presented annually, th3 award recognizes an outstanding hotelier in the Caribbean region for demonstrating excellence in all areas of hotel and resort operations, as well as a commitment to the training and development of staff, to the community and to sound environmental practices. The honour also acknowledges each recipient’s active role in both national and regional issues affecting Caribbean tourism.
During his 15-year career as head of Bolongo Bay Beach Resort in St. Thomas, Doumeng has continued to grow the family-owned beach resort as one of the most popular resorts in the Caribbean, renowned for its friendly staff and personalized guest service.
(Right: The busiest man in travel - Edmund Barlett, Tourism Minister for Jamaica)
Part of the property’s success in providing a superior lodging experience may be attributed to Doumeng’s foresight in pioneering marketing and public relations programmes on behalf of Bolongo Bay Beach Resort.
Under his leadership, Bolongo was the first resort in the Virgin Islands to partner with a relatively unknown internet booking engine in 1997 – now one of the web’s preeminent mega-portals, Expedia.com. Doumeng also spearheaded the resort’s destination weddings and events department, resulting in a more than 500 percent increase in group bookings over a four-year period.
Continuing this long history of community leadership, Doumeng currently serves on the board of the United Way. Previously, he served as vice president, president and as a member of the board for the USVI Hotel & Tourism Association. Additional outreach among local organizations includes: the Project Safe Neighborhoods program; Rotary; high school football and baseball coaching; and Special Olympics.