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CHA and CTO forge alliance with Smith Travel Research

The Caribbean Hotel Association (CHA) and the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) announced that Smith Travel Research (STR) of Hendersonville, Tennessee will become their official partner in the…

The Caribbean Hotel Association (CHA) and the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) announced that Smith Travel Research (STR) of Hendersonville, Tennessee will become their official partner in the collection and distribution of hotel performance data for the Caribbean.

The announcement was made and applauded by the participants at the 11th Annual Caribbean Hotel & Tourism Investment Conference here for whom hotel performance data is critical to their investment decisions.

Smith Travel Research has built a stellar reputation in this area over the past 20 years and is regarded as the best and most respected source of hotel performance information, said Peter Odle, president of the CHA. We are delighted to be able to form this alliance with them so that we may provide our member hotels with the data they need to improve business outlook.

In the past, much of the data on hotel performance in the Caribbean was unavailable because of the concerns among hotel owners about confidentiality, both organizations said.

However, they stated that STR`s reputation for reliability, objectivity and confidentiality means that not even the partner organization (CTO and CHA) will have access to any information provided to STR on the performance of any individual property.

The regional tourism bodies stated that CTO and CHA and others will only receive blended information that will indicate trends and allow better forecasting not only for the region but also for individual destinations.

We are also confident that much of the information will also be used to guide governments in their decision-making once they know that the information being provided is coming from an independent and highly credible source such as Smith Travel Research, said Vincent Vanderpool-Wallace, the CTO’s secretary general.

One of the most important jobs at CTO and CHA is to improve the quality of decision-making information available to our industry so that all of our policies and recommendations are supported with facts. We have leaped into the technological age in tourism without taking full advantage of the information age and we see this initiative as the beginning of our correcting this handicap in the area of hotel performance throughout our region, the secretary general added.

Smith Travel Research and our global partner, ‘The Bench,’ are very pleased to be collaborating with both the CHA and the CTO to establish a performance collection process throughout the Caribbean, stated Duane Vinson, vice president for Smith Travel Research. These lodging statistics, once compiled, will be of tremendous benefit to the individual owner/operator as well as the development and investment communities. This will truly create access to comprehensive actionable data on an unprecedented level.

Alec Sanguinetti, director general and CEO of the CHA said: Hotels Associations across the region will assist in the identification of those sample properties that are believed to be representative of each member destination. Of course, we will welcome the voluntary participation of any and all CHA Member properties.

All properties participating in the survey will receive a free monthly copy of STR`s world renowned Star Report during the first year of participation. This Report enables a property to compare its performance in a number of areas against a group of five or more selected properties, according to Vinson.

The collection, dissemination and most importantly the utilization of this information will mark a significant step in improving the business of tourism in our region, Vanderpool-Wallace added.