CHA changes name, expands mandate

The Caribbean Hotel Association has expanded its mandate and changed the name of the organisation to reflect a broader constituency that represents the hospitality and tourism industry in the region and to accommodate the growing number of non-hotel members either joining or seeking to join the association, said a press release.

The CHA Annual General Meeting, which took place in Miami on 22 July, ratified the proposal brought forth by the CHA Board of Directors to change the name of the institution to the Caribbean Hotel & Tourism Association to accommodate the integration of all companies working in or related to the whole tourism sector.

‘This will be a way to show to our governments, public and private multilateral institutions, and all players in the tourism sector that CHTA has a broader span of representation of industry partners and therefore plays a major significant role in the Caribbean,’ said Enrique De Marchena Kaluche, newly inaugurated president of CHTA for 2008-2010.

At the same time, CHTA has re-structured the organisation both operationally and financially and the result is also a stronger association serving the interest of the hospitality industry in the Caribbean.

The CHA Board, under the direction of the former CHA president, Peter Odle, was challenged to grow the association into a stronger, more diverse body that better encompasses the entire hospitality industry, the press release noted. The Board initiated the necessary changes to the CHA Articles of Association to increase the relevance of the organisation to meet the current needs of the stakeholders and expand the membership categories to include other related companies within the hospitality industry.

Moving forward as the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association, the reformed and the renamed organisation will now enable membership for all tourism industry stakeholders such as commercial establishments, restaurants, attractions, shops, artisans and others. ‘Tourism means business for all residents on our islands and we need to create a better understanding of this within our own communities,’ Mr. De Marchena said.

Immediate Past President Peter Odle, now Chairman of CHTA said: ‘If we are to remain the world traveller’s most sought after warm weather vacation destination, all of us in the tourism and hospitality industry including hotels, governments, restaurants, taxi associations, crafts markets, shopkeepers and even the cruise lines are going to have to work together in an atmosphere where co-operation is a way of life, not merely a watchword.’

The CHTA elected its slate of officers to work under the leadership of President Mr. De Marchena for 2008-2010. These officers were elected by the CHTA Board of Directors at the AGM.

The elected officers are:

First Vice President – Richard Doumeng, U.S. Virgin Islands Hotel & Tourism Association;

Second Vice President -Josef Forstmayr, Jamaica Hotel & Tourist Association;

Third Vice President – Sherille Hughes, Anguilla Hotel & Tourism Association;

Fourth Vice President – Haydée Rainieri, Asociacion Nacional de Hoteles & Restaurantes, Dominican Republic;

Fifth Vice President – Willem Jonckheer, Curaçao Hospitality & Tourism Association;

Treasurer – Jag Mehta, Jamaica Hotel & Tourist Association.

In addition to the elected officers and in keeping with the CHTA Articles of Association, the President appointed the following members to serve as Regional Vice Presidents: John Lynch, Sandals & Beaches Resort, Jamaica; Romney Penn, Hodge’s Creek Marina Hotel, BVI; Reyson Pimentel, BlueBay Villas Cerradas, Dominican Republic; Bill Clegg, Choice Hotels International, United States; and Kevin M. Kenny, Angostura Limited, Trinidad and Tobago.

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