US Virgin Islands Hotel & Tourism Association

Puerto Rico to Host 2018 Caribbean Travel Marketplace

Puerto Rico will host the 2018 edition of Caribbean Travel Marketplace, the Caribbean’s largest marketing event, at the Puerto Rico Convention Center from Jan. 30 to Feb. 1, 2018.

Produced by the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association in collaboration with the Puerto Rico Convention Center District Authority, the Puerto Rico Tourism Company and the Puerto Rico Hotel and Tourism Association, next year’s event will feature two days of business meetings that match hotels and destinations with online travel agents, tour operators and Meetings, Incentives, Conventions and Exhibitions (MICE) planners through a busy program of thousands of pre-scheduled appointments.

“We are honored to host the most important Caribbean tourism event of the year as we evolve our position as a regional leader in the meetings and conventions business,” said Omar Marrero, Executive Director of the Puerto Rico Convention Center District Authority.

“CHTA’s strategy to bring more MICE planners to next year’s marketplace is very well aligned with our objective to continue to grow this crucial category,” said Marrero, who is also the Executive Director of the Puerto Rico Ports Authority and the Puerto Rico Public-Private Partnerships Authority.

“This is an excellent opportunity to partner on the ground with our regional affiliate,” said Miguel Vega, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Puerto Rico Hotel & Tourism Association. He noted that CHTA plays a key role in driving business to the destination and the region by developing and maintaining strong ties with global buyers interested in the Caribbean. “Caribbean Travel Marketplace is a marquee event that provides an excellent opportunity for stakeholders here to network with some of the world’s leading travel professionals and, more importantly, share what we offer on our islands to the world.”

In a joint statement, CHTA’s President Karolin Troubetzkoy and CEO Frank Comito said, “We look forward to returning to Puerto Rico and partnering with both the public and private sectors in such an incredibly welcoming destination.”

The CHTA officials, whose organization represents the interests of national hotel and tourism associations, noted they anticipate working with local partners, including the team at Meet Puerto Rico and destination management companies, to attract global meeting planners as well as buyers who specialize in niche markets such as spas and wellness.

In 2017, Caribbean Travel Marketplace, hosted by the Bahamas, attracted 114 buyer companies from 20 countries. More than 1,100 delegates from 31 countries participated in more than 10,000 pre-scheduled appointments.

The conference opens on the evening of Jan. 30 and will be preceded by educational sessions that day. For more information, visit or call 305-443-3040.

Caribbean305 to Launch Caribbean-American Heritage Month Celebrations in Miami

Flavors from more than a dozen Caribbean nations will be simmering together at Caribbean305, the region’s newest culinary and cultural celebration taking place on Miami’s Jungle Island on June 3 at 8 p.m.

To be presented annually by the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association, Caribbean305 will launch south Florida’s celebrations of Caribbean-American Heritage Month by providing foodies, Caribbean nationals and residents of the area, with the chance to savor the diverse gastronomic delights the region has to offer.

“This newly refreshed event highlights the artistry of Caribbean cuisine and attracts our top chefs, bartenders and mixologists,” explained Frank Comito, CHTA’s Director General and CEO.

Caribbean305 will feature culinary professionals from 16 Caribbean nations and territories, including Anguilla, the Bahamas, Barbados, Bonaire, the British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Curaçao, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, St. Lucia, St. Maarten, St. Martin, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, Turks and Caicos, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Patrons are invited to eat, drink and dance to Caribbean rhythms on Jungle Island, while interacting with representatives from a number of Caribbean tourism boards, Miami-based Caribbean restaurants and celebrity chefs.

“This is a foodie’s ultimate dream and the perfect festival for anyone with Caribbean roots looking for a taste of home,” Comito said.

Caribbean305 tickets are $95 for general admission, which includes access to the event from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. for an all-inclusive experience of unlimited drinks, food and entertainment. VIP tickets are $140, featuring early access to the event at 7 p.m. and a VIP lounge area with an exclusive VIP bar, food station and additional seating.

Caribbean305, produced by the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association, is supported by host sponsor Sandals Resorts. Sazerac Company has signed on as a platinum sponsor, serving Cane Run Estate Rum, Black Magic Black Spiced Rum, Frïs Vodka, Tuaca Liqueur and Southern Comfort 80 proof, while gold sponsors include Visit Barbados, the Jamaica Tourist Board, and the United States Virgin Islands Department of Tourism.

For more information about Caribbean305, visit

Message from Karolin Troubetzkoy, CHTA President, on Earth Day

The Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association welcomes the focus of Earth Day 2017 on Environmental and Climate Literacy, especially at a time when the very existence or impact of climate change is being challenged by some, if not outrightly denied and dismissed.

The 1992 Earth Summit in Rio was “our last chance to save the Earth.” Twenty-five years later, we must take stock of where we are and unite to face the realities of climate change, especially in a region and an industry as vulnerable as ours. Most importantly, we must take action.

Our association is committed to ensuring our members and our destinations are fully conversant with the need to be climatically responsible. We know that being aware of the dangers of climate-changing activities not only helps to protect the environment, but is also good for business.

In a sense, the Caribbean region is the world’s lungs. People come to our shores for fresh air and clean seas in which to relax.

Individually our islands may be small, but collectively we can make a significant statement to the world about our care and concern for protecting our fragile natural resources. We do not have room for waste, nor can we afford to muddy our own pool when we are inviting the world to come and splash in its pristine clarity.

Looking after our environment is not just good for the planet, it is good for our livelihoods as well. It is not only economically efficient, but many of our guests want to know that their presence is preserving the region rather than polluting it.

The governments of the Caribbean played an instrumental role in the adoption of the 2015 agreement at the Paris climate conference. CHTA is calling on the region’s public and private sector stakeholders to renew our support for the Caribbean Community’s call for a cap on the world’s temperature rise at 1.5 degrees Centigrade made to the United Nations conference in Paris. Anything less than a full commitment to the accords reached in Paris would have devastating consequences for the region.

Furthermore, we should increase our climate knowledge by supporting research and mitigation measures to counter losses.

CHTA is working on several fronts to create a more sustainable tourism industry by adopting measures to reduce the carbon footprints of our members. With the support of the Inter-American Development Bank, detailed energy efficiency audits have been conducted on more than 150 regional hotels. Additional energy conservation work in the tourism sector is being done with the support of the United States Agency for International Development.

Through these and other initiatives, many of the region’s hotels have put energy efficiency measures in place, and our sector has advanced training, policies and incentives that support greater efficiencies and lower carbon footprints. Many of the region’s governments have put in place policies to promote energy efficiency, water conservation and waste management. These efforts need to continue.

The Earth Day focus this year on Environmental and Climate Change Literacy fits well with the UN’s declaration of 2017 as the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development because controlling the release of climate-changing emissions is a key element in advancing the contribution of the tourism sector to the three pillars of sustainability – economic, social and environmental.

Such continuing education will raise awareness of the true dimensions of a sector that is often undervalued because of a lack of literacy on its real contributions across all areas of society.

In the Caribbean, we benefit enormously from our region’s biggest money earner and CHTA unreservedly embraces our responsibility to ensure that tourism is sustainable so it can be an even greater contributor to the socioeconomic development of the region, supporting our schools, our hospitals, our businesses and our culture while preserving the environment, which is our biggest asset.

Let’s save the Earth and keep the Caribbean clean!