Karolin Trou­bet­zkoy:

Ac­co­lades, Art and a Con­sum­ing Pas­sion

The Star (St. Lucia) - - WOMEN’S DAY - By Dee Lundy-Charles

“In my youth I used to paint but at some point I had to make a de­ci­sion about what I wanted to be,” tells Karolin Trou­bet­zkoy of her early years. Raised in Mu­nich, Ger­many the now highly-cel­e­brated hote­lier al­ways felt a draw to­wards the ho­tel busi­ness, which in those days was a for­mi­da­ble bas­tion of male ex­clu­siv­ity and un­used to a feisty young woman with a de­sire to dis­cover and de­velop the best tourism prod­uct pos­si­ble.

“Due to the ex­pe­ri­ence of work­ing at my aunt’s ho­tel and the pas­sion she in­stilled in me, I de­cided to pur­sue this ca­reer [of ho­tel man­age­ment] and not paint­ing.” Karolin was one of the first stu­dents to take a uni­ver­sity de­gree in the pro­fes­sion and was near­ing the end of her stud­ies when a re­cruit­ment op­por­tu­nity be­came a step­ping stone to her des­tiny.

Her aunt had sold the ho­tel while she was study­ing so when a rep­re­sen­ta­tive of ho­tel man­age­ment com­pany Stein­berger walked through the door of Karolin’s uni­ver­sity class­room and asked for peo­ple to vol­un­teer to teach Ger­man in Saint Lu­cia, she thought “Yes, I’ll go.”

At the time she knew noth­ing of the Caribbean, far less the tiny is­land on which she would land in 1980, just days af­ter Hur­ri­cane Allen had caused con­sid­er­able de­struc­tion in­clud­ing closing down ev­ery re­sort ex­cept one - the St. Lu­cian Ho­tel. At age twenty, she and two other fe­male ho­tel man­age­ment grad­u­ates found them­selves in the midst of chaos, with no con­tacts and nowhere to stay on the is­land when they ar­rived from Ger­many via Bar­ba­dos but luck­ily some help­ful lo­cals of in­flu­ence aided their plight and Karolin spent six months work­ing in Saint Luca.

“I felt im­me­di­ately at home. It made me un­der­stand I was a cit­i­zen of the world and re­alise that I was meant for this work, and so I em­braced it. I gave Ger­man classes and it was in­ter­est­ing, es­pe­cially when a Ger­man word sounded very much like a pa­tois curse! My classes were full and up to now I meet peo­ple who tell me ‘You taught me Ger­man!’”

She left in 1981 to ex­plore other places in the world, not an­tic­i­pat­ing a re­turn to Saint Lu­cia. Then re­mark­ably, three months later, met Nick Trou­bet­zkoy who was al­ready owner of Anse Chas­tanet ho­tel although their paths had never crossed dur­ing her time on the is­land. Af­ter a long-dis­tance courtship and much cir­cum­spec­tion, Karolin re­turned to the is­land and mar­ried Nick, cre­at­ing a mar­riage made in ho­tel heaven. For more than thirty years, Karolin and Nick have per­fected their prod­uct, rais­ing Anse Chas­tanet to the up­per ech­e­lons of dive re­sorts and, since 2007, bring­ing the unique and stunning Jade Moun­tain to a wildly ap­pre­cia­tive luxury mar­ket.

When she won the Caribbean Hote­lier of the Year Award in 2012, Karolin looked at the por­traits in the win­ners’ gallery and re­alised there was only a hand­ful women reach­ing the high­est lev­els of the tourism in­dus­try in the re­gion, in­clud­ing Berthia Parle, also a renowned Saint Lu­cian hote­lier. De­spite the strides women have taken in the in­dus­try over the past thirty years, the First Vice Pres­i­dent of the Caribbean Ho­tel and Tourism As­so­ci­a­tion wishes more would join the ranks of this cru­cial re­gional eco­nomic driver.

The Hats and Crowns of a

Tourism Ti­tan

Karolin Trou­bet­zkoy is the Ex­ec­u­tive Direc­tor, Mar­ket­ing and Op­er­a­tions of Anse Chas­tanet and Jade Moun­tain Re­sorts in Soufriere, Saint Lu­cia. She has been spear­head­ing the mar­ket­ing and day-to-day op­er­a­tions of th­ese award-win­ning re­sorts since 1984, with Jade Moun­tain Re­sort added in 2004 when the pre-open­ing mar­ket­ing phase be­gan.

Since 2010, Mrs Trou­bet­zkoy has been the Pres­i­dent of the Saint Lu­cia Ho­tel and Tourism As­so­ci­a­tion (SLHTA). She has been in­stru­men­tal in im­ple­ment­ing a ho­tel book­ing en­gine for SLHTA, book­stlu­cianow.com, as well as the launch of a Saint Lu­cia Tourism En­hance­ment Fund: a vol­un­tary con­tri­bu­tion of US$2 per vis­i­tor per room night which en­joys a high com­pli­ance rate among the lo­cal ho­tels. The Tourism En­hance­ment Fund cel­e­brated its first an­niver­sary on Oc­to­ber 1, 2014 hav­ing raised 1.8 mil­lion EC dol­lars.

Mrs Trou­bet­zkoy also over­saw the devel­op­ment of a broad so­cial me­dia plat­form for the SLHTA in­clud­ing pro­files on Twit­ter, Instagram, Face­book, Linked In, Google Plus and Pin­ter­est as well as the launch of a va­ri­ety of web­sites for SLHTA in­clud­ing www.slhta.com and www.book­stlu­cianow.com.

Mrs Trou­bet­zkoy is a Direc­tor of the Saint Lu­cia Tourist Board (SLTB) and the Chair­per­son of the Saint Lu­cia Tourist Board Mar­ket­ing Com­mit­tee; she has been an ac­tive mem­ber of SLTB mar­ket­ing com­mit­tees for the past twenty years and a Board mem­ber from 2007-2009 and again from 2010.

As the cur­rent First Vice Pres­i­dent of the Caribbean Ho­tel and Tourism As­so­ci­a­tion (CHTA), Mrs Trou­bet­zkoy chaired the CHTA Ad­vo­cacy Com­mit­tee for the re­gion from 2012-2014. Since Oc­to­ber 1, 2014, Mrs Trou­bet­zkoy has been Chair­per­son of Caribbean Al­liance of Sus­tain­able Tourism (CAST). She hopes to pro­vide guid­ance and ex­per­tise in best en­vi­ron­men­tal and sus­tain­able devel­op­ment prac­tices for the re­gion in­clud­ing wa­ter and en­ergy man­age­ment as well as the im­por­tance of “re­duc­ing, reusing and re­cy­cling”, stat­ing that an im­me­di­ate goal is to in­crease the on­line visibility of CAST in­clud­ing its past ac­com­plish­ments and plans for the fu­ture.

In the field of phi­lan­thropy, Mrs Trou­bet­zkoy has sup­ported com­mu­nity projects through her var­i­ous pro­fes­sional po­si­tions but re­cently she be­came Pa­tron of the Saint Lu­cia Cere­bral Palsy As­so­ci­a­tion, a rel­a­tively new non-profit or­gan­i­sa­tion which pro­vides sup­port and ther­apy for chil­dren and young adults with CP. She has been able to raise over US $20,000 so far in this role which has helped the As­so­ci­a­tion to pur­chase ur­gently needed as­sis­tive equip­ment, and she has em­ployed one young man at her re­sort in the type of prac­ti­cal op­por­tu­nity rarely of­fered to suf­fer­ers of the con­di­tion.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Saint Lucia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.