Emil Lee, president of the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association, has reported progress during his first year in office as CHTA continues its evolution into a ‘hub and spoke’ organisation.
He said he is pleased that the focus on strengthening the National Hotel & Tourism Associations throughout the region is evolving quickly.
He also cites a new era of public-private sector collaboration between CHTA and the Caribbean Tourism Organisation which has emerged as a point of optimism for the industry’s future.
Lee recently visited with local CHTA members and ministers of tourism in various countries including Antigua, The Bahamas, Barbados and Belize.
“CHTA is actively working to strengthen the national associations, facilitating and empowering them and improving their effectiveness and efficiency,” said Lee.
“The CHTA is in the process of fundamentally restructuring by evolving from a traditional top down hierarchy to a hub and spoke model where the CHTA becomes the hub for the Caribbean’s National Associations allowing the easy sharing of information especially on the best and worst practices in the region.”
Lee believes the membership of CHTA is embracing the changes taking place within the organization and is encouraged by a growing dialogue that is drawing hoteliers, allied members and the public sector together to proactively look at improving tourism.
“I see more members that support what we are doing and are hungry for the changes in leadership that is moving CHTA to the prominent position it has held in the past,” said Lee.
This transformation comes as the Association is about to launch CHIEF (the Caribbean Hospitality Industry Exchange Forum), a new annual event designed to focus on hotel industry operations and marketing with an eye on sustainable tourism.
“CHIEF has ignited a renewed excitement among the membership as both independent hoteliers and chain hotels around the region are viewing this as an opportunity to network with industry colleagues and learn about best practices that both small and large hotels are using to become more successful,” said Lee.
“We have also reached out to our allied membership and they are embracing this opportunity to renew and strengthen their relationship with the hoteliers,” he added.
CHIEF takes place October 2nd-4th in Puerto Rico.
Its focus is to facilitate exchanges between hotels, tourism industry leaders and allied members to help attendees network in a fun environment and learn how to increase revenue, save money and improve efficiency.