US Virgin Islands Hotel & Tourism Association

2018 CHTA Education Foundation Scholarship Application Now Open

The application process is now open and attached are the requirements and the application for this year’s scholarships. Alternatively, information and the application can be downloaded by clicking here.

CHTAEF was established in 1986 as a stand-alone 501 (c) 3 nonprofit, tax-exempt organization. Its mandate is to improve and elevate the quality and professionalism of the hotel and tourism industry in the Caribbean through education and training. Today, it is one of the largest charitable programs in the Caribbean hospitality industry, having raised and awarded more than $2 million in scholarships and grants to applicants who demonstrate a strong commitment to the hotel and tourism industry in the region.

Scholarships are awarded to applicants attending accredited tourism and hospitality institutions around the world, and in partnership with academic institutions like Johnson & Wales University, Monroe College and Florida International University which provide additional scholarship support to eligible CHTAEF scholarship students.

CHTAEF also funds certifications and accreditation programs for established regional industry professionals. In conjunction with the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association, certification programs are now being refined, redeveloped and funded to support the foundation’s primary objective of continually elevating the industry’s professionalism. These shorter courses provide immediate, tangible results for the industry due to the nature of their tailored and specific coursework.  More information about these credentialing programs will be ongoing.

CHIEF 2018: Innovation through Unity

This year’s Caribbean Hospitality Industry Exchange Forum will focus on how the Caribbean hospitality and tourism industry can embrace innovation through unity. How can hospitality and tourism leaders in the region share best practices, market the region in a unified manner and support one another professionally? How can we innovate to move the region forward at the personal, hotel and business level through internal and guest-facing applications? What are the new mindsets and the new tools we embrace to drive innovation forward?  This is the challenge CHIEF invites you to meet in Miami June 22-24.

Caribbean hotel owners and managers, along with leading providers of goods and services to the hotel industry, gather at CHIEF to network and share best practices through a series of round tables, workshops and professional development sessions. A priceless educational opportunity for all hospitality and tourism stakeholders.

CHIEF’s stimulating breakout sessions will enable you to customize an experience to meet all of your team’s needs. Tackle operational challenges, leverage your social media, plan for more profits, learn how to juggle multiple distribution platforms and more!

A Vibrant New Marketplace

This year’s Caribbean Travel Marketplace displayed a vibrant new look and feel, and celebrated the resiliency of the beautiful island of Puerto Rico. An impressive opening night celebration that brought the audience to its feet began this year’s event. The Puerto Rico Philharmonic Orchestra played an homage to Puerto Rican music and culture, including the mega hit Despacito that quickly got the crowd going. Salsa dancers, pleneros and a shower of confetti brought the evening to a close as delegates enjoyed delicious tapa style dishes and cocktails.

In addition to the over 9,000 meetings that took place on the trade show floor, CHTA was proud to organize an invitation only appreciation dinner to the companies and sponsors that make events like marketplace and other activities possible.

A special thank you and recognition was offered to Interval International and Virgin Holiday for their continued support of the CHTA Education Foundation. CHTA officially presented Professor Heinz Simonitsch, C.D. with CHTA’s first Icon of Hospitality Award. Professor Simonitsch was awarded CHTA’s highest honor in July of 2017 for his countless contributions to Caribbean hospitality. He was joined by his wife and family as he accepted the award, surrounded by colleagues and industry leaders.

Click here to view photos from Caribbean Travel Marketplace 2018.

Stacy Cox Elected President of Hotel Association Executives for Next Two Years

Caribbean tourism industry professional Stacy Cox has been elected president of the Caribbean Society of Hotel Association Executives for the next two years.

Cox, who unexpectedly took the top job early last year following an unscheduled leadership change, received a full two-year mandate at the association’s annual general meeting, which preceded this month’s 36th annual Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association Caribbean Travel Marketplace event in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

CSHAE is an independent organization aimed at advancing professional development and strengthening networking among Caribbean hotel and tourism association executives.

The association’s 2018-20 Executive Board will be chaired by Gilda Gumbs Samuel, executive director of the Anguilla Hotel and Tourism Association, while Brian Frontin, CEO of the Trinidad Hotels, Restaurant & Tourism Association, will serve as vice president. Miles Mercera, president and CEO of the Curaçao Hospitality & Tourism Association, will serve as treasurer, while Clarisa Jimenez, president and CEO of the Puerto Rico Hotel & Tourism Association, has been appointed secretary.

Other elected CSHAE Board Directors include Avril Alexander, executive director of the British Virgin Islands Chamber of Commerce & Hotel Association; Tessie Duran Tonaco, marketing director of the Belize Hotel Association; and Lisa Hamilton, president of the U.S. Virgin Islands Hotel & Tourism Association.

Cox asserted her mandate includes increased engagement on issues such as education and training, advocacy, airlift capacity, disaster management and the sharing economy: “It is an honor to continue to serve the region’s hotel and tourism associations and their members, and focus on the many pressing issues facing the Caribbean’s sustainability.”

While in San Juan, hotel association executives attended their annual leadership conference, sponsored by American Resort Development Association – Resort Owners’ Coalition (ARDA-ROC) and facilitated by Adriana Serna, ASAE (The Center for Association Leadership) Facilitator and communications manager of CHTA.

CSHAE Hosts Annual Leadership Conference Sponsored by ARDA ROC

The Caribbean Society of Hotel Association Executives held its Annual General Meeting and Leadership Conference, sponsored by American Resort Development Association – Resort Owners’ Coalition (ARDA-ROC), in Puerto Rico prior to the opening of Caribbean Travel Marketplace.

Association executives from 13 hotel associations participated in the AGM and leadership training including professionals from Anguilla, Aruba, Barbados, Belize, Bermuda, BVI, Curacao, Puerto Rico, St. Lucia, St. Maarten, Trinidad, Turks & Caicos and U.S. Virgin Islands. The Leadership Conference ASAE training, sponsored by ARDA-ROC, CSHAE and CHTA, featured ASAE professional development sessions by Adriana Serna, ASAE facilitator and CHTA’s director of communications.

During the course of the AGM meeting, the executives discussed the NHTA’s top priorities for the next two years such as, but not limited to, sharing economy, air capacity and disaster management (to include crime, natural disasters, global warming and krypto/bit currency).

CSHAE also elected the following board members to serve on the Caribbean Society Hotel Association Executive Board 2018 – 2020:

  • Chair Women – Gilda Gumbs-Samuel, Executive Director – Anguilla Hotel and Tourism Association
  • President – Stacy Cox, Executive Director – Turks and Caicos Hotel and Tourism Association
  • Vice President – Brian Frontin, CEO – Trinidad Hotels, Restaurant & Tourism Association
  • Treasurer – Miles Mercera, President and CEO – Curacao Hospitality & Tourism Association
  • Secretary – Clarisa Jimenez, President and CEO – Puerto Rico Hotel & Tourism Association

Other members elected to the CSHAE Board of Directors include:

  • Avril Alexander, Executive Director– BVI Chamber of Commerce & Hotel Association
  • Tessie Duran Tonaco, Marketing Director – Belize Hotel Association
  • Lisa Hamilton, President – US Virgin Hotel & Tourism Association

The board will not only take up the torch to move on with the top priorities listed above, but will also be active in CHTA committee meetings and task forces in advocacy, education and training, marketing and membership. Each area will be represented with two CSHAE board members to follow through any actions needed to build a better Caribbean as well as keep the other executives informed of new issues, sharing best practices and facilitating with CHTA the best options to care for the 32 countries. CSHAE President Stacy Cox thanked the executives for their continued support and looks forward to chartering new directions to complete the top priorities one at a time with a team that is willing to work hard.

Top Three Romance Travel Trends for 2018

With more couples traveling together before tying the knot, newlyweds are looking at more unusual ways to ensure that their honeymoon is a once-in-a-lifetime trip. Couples are putting their own stamp on this tradition and reinventing it. Click here to learn the 2018 top three romance travel trends your property can implement to set yourself apart as the premier romance destination.