Out­go­ing CHTA Pres­i­dent Hailed for Con­tri­bu­tion

The Star (St. Lucia) - - LOCAL -

Frank Comito, CEO and Di­rec­tor Gen­eral of the Caribbean Ho­tel and Tourism As­so­ci­a­tion (CHTA), lauded the lead­er­ship of out­go­ing CHTA Pres­i­dent Karolin Trou­bet­zkoy of Saint Lu­cia for her pro­tec­tion and pro­mo­tion of the Caribbean brand and also for her per­sonal and corporate sup­port of des­ti­na­tions that were se­verely im­pacted by last year’s twin storms.

Speak­ing ahead of the of­fi­cial open­ing of Caribbean Hos­pi­tal­ity In­dus­try Ex­change Fo­rum (CHIEF) at the Hy­att Re­gency Mi­ami, Comito de­scribed Trou­bet­zkoy’s pres­i­dency as “per­va­sive and pow­er­ful”—from ad­dress­ing the Zika epi­demic, im­me­di­ately upon tak­ing the reins of the or­gan­i­sa­tion, to help­ing Caribbean peo­ple put their lives back to­gether af­ter Hur­ri­canes Irma and Maria ripped com­mu­ni­ties apart.

“Look­ing back at the many suc­cess­ful re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion and re­cov­ery ini­tia­tives, it is im­por­tant to re­mem­ber the selfless and un­tir­ing ef­forts of Karolin Trou­bet­zkoy who has been a bold cham­pion of our brand and our peo­ple,” Comito re­flected.

High­light­ing Trou­bet­zkoy’s role in the launch of the “One Caribbean Fam­ily” ini­tia­tive, which united hotels and busi­nesses to do good, he added the ini­tia­tive also un­der­scored the fact that more than 70 per cent of Caribbean des­ti­na­tions were not af­fected by the storms and were ready to wel­come vis­i­tors so they, in turn, could help af­fected neigh­bour­ing is­lands and their peo­ple.

“Those of us who are open for busi­ness are go­ing to ben­e­fit from busi­ness that was meant for other is­lands . . . so we should try to give back,” Trou­bet­zkoy im­plored last year, en­cour­ag­ing fel­low hote­liers to sup­port the Caribbean Tourism Re­cov­ery Fund, borne of the “One Caribbean Fam­ily” cam­paign.

The Re­cov­ery Fund, ad­min­is­tered by the Tourism Cares or­gan­i­sa­tion, a non­profit sup­ported by the world’s lead­ing tourism com­pa­nies and or­gan­i­sa­tions, was cre­ated to pro­pel long-term re­cov­ery and strengthen the abil­ity of im­pacted des­ti­na­tions to re­bound as quickly as pos­si­ble.

CHTA mem­bers and tourism part­ners within and with­out the re­gion sup­ported the fund, which raised more than a quar­ter of a mil­lion US dol­lars, Comito re­ported. Pro­grammes fo­cused on train­ing and ed­u­ca­tion, restor­ing des­ti­na­tion ca­pac­ity, phys­i­cal restora­tion of tourism­re­lated in­fra­struc­ture, social en­ter­prise de­vel­op­ment, job cre­ation, ho­tel train­ing, vol­un­tourism and the en­vi­ron­ment.

“It is espe­cially hum­bling to be handed the reins by Karolin Trou­bet­zkoy, an icon of our pro­fes­sion,” said Pa­tri­cia Af­fonso Dass, in­com­ing CHTA Pres­i­dent. “Karolin went way be­yond the call of duty, when she gra­ciously agreed to start her ten­ure sev­eral months ear­lier—a won­der­ful bonus to have more of her bold ap­proaches and her di­plo­matic clout en­hanc­ing our work. Her lead­er­ship and tire­less work to sup­port re­lief and re­cov­ery ef­forts com­forted many. She led the charge in telling the world and our travel part­ners that much of the re­gion was ‘open for busi­ness’ for which many in our re­gion should be eter­nally grate­ful.”

Saint Lu­cia’s Karolin Trou­bet­zkoy has been praised for her “per­va­sive and pow­er­ful” lead­er­ship of the CHTA.

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