Hotel body reveals new committee

The Caribbean Society of Hotel Association Executives held its recent annual general meeting prior to Caribbean Travel Marketplace where members elected officers for the 2013-14 term and shared best practices for running a local hotel association.

Over the course of the two days of training, executives expressed key advocacy concerns including increased taxation, lack of destination marketing, high energy costs and the lack of and high prices of air transportation.

“We continue to find that most islands are faced with the same issues, so we shared our best practices in hopes that what is successful in one destination can be used to affect change in other countries,” said Lisa Hamilton, president. “Under the banner of advocacy, we are concerned about the various forms of taxation as well as the high cost of energy as these items impact our operating costs.”

During the meeting, the group updated the work plan it created in 2012 to incorporate new strategies to guide their efforts over the next few years to strengthen the work and roles of associations at the local and regional level. The meeting also covered ways to enhance leadership skills, drive membership to the local associations and integrating social media platforms and booking engines.

The executives also honoured Alec Sanguinetti, the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association’s former director general and CEO, who retired after 52 years of service to the Caribbean tourism industry.

Association executives from 11 hotel associations as well as two hotel association presidents met and elected the following individuals to its executive committee:

Lisa Hamilton, president, United States Virgin Islands Hotel and Tourism Association, was elected for a second term as president.

Gilda Gumbs-Samuel, executive director, Anguilla Hotel and Tourism Association, was re-elected as vice president.

Neil Forrester, general manager, Antigua Hotels and Tourism Association, was re-elected as treasurer .

Stacey Cox, association executive, Turks and Caicos Hotel and Tourism Association, was elected secretary.

Other members elected to the board of directors include Sue Springer, executive vice president, Barbados Hotel and Tourism Association; Frank Comito, executive vice president, Bahamas Hotel Association; and Clarisa Jimenez, president and CEO, Puerto Rico Hotel and Tourism Association.