US Virgin Islands Hotel & Tourism Association

chief41CHIEF Keynote Calls for Investment in the Caribbean’s Human Resources

Gerard “Jerry” Inzerillo, CEO of Forbes Travel Guide, known for his innovations and relationships in the tourism, hospitality and entertainment communities, called for an urgent investment in the next generation of Caribbean travel and tourism leaders to elevate service standards within the region.

“We have the soul to do it – this region has soul and that is a bankable commodity, more than the beautiful turquoise waters,” Inzerillo told a packed audience at the opening of the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association’s Caribbean Hospitality Industry Exchange Forum in Puerto Rico. “Importing [talent] is not an excuse,” he contended, underscoring the importance of training local workers. “It is [our] obligation to develop our own people…and talent,” said the chief executive who started his career as a busboy.

Inzerillo, who celebrates 50 years in the industry next year, asserted tourism, now ten percent of global GDP, is “the single, great ambassador of humanity in the world because it celebrates all the stuff that’s in our soul… It is not growing incrementally, it is exploding…we are in the right place at the right time. What is going to happen in travel in the next five years is breathtaking,” he remarked, highlighting trends such as multi-generational family travel, women traveling in groups and millennial travel. However, he lamented it has never been more difficult to run a tourism entity, citing low margins, increased competition, the development of human resources and a diversity of other challenges.

Click here to visit the CHTA website and read all of the articles concerning the wealth of information shared at CHIEF.

KPMG and STR Reports Shared at CHIEF: Last month, we shared information about a KPMG Performance Study which KMPG, in collaboration with CHTA, launched. The CHIEF 2016 survey was designed to help owners, operators, lenders and investors better understand the profile and performance of their Caribbean resorts. The 2016 survey looks to build on the success of past surveys and provide additional insight into the impact of the economic environment on the recent and forecasted future financial performance of Caribbean resorts. Click here to view report. Additionally, click here to view the STR report also discussed at CHIEF.