MIAMI, FLORIDA - As the Caribbean tourism and hospitality industry continues to respond and adapt to challenges arising out of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA), the region’s leading association representing the interests of the private sector, has launched Forward Together, an initiative which encourages industry stakeholders to join their colleagues in supporting the trade association.
“With the growing deployment of vaccines worldwide, we are encouraged by industry research indicating that travelers’ views towards international travel are increasingly favorable, and confirming that Caribbean countries and territories continue to be some of the most desired destinations for leisure travel,” said Vanessa Ledesma, CHTA’s Acting CEO and Director General, who posits that CHTA’s ability to continue responding to the pandemic and support an accelerated recovery depends on the support of existing and new members, both large and small.
“For the past year CHTA has directed much of its attention towards the pandemic response as we have developed resources and programs to mitigate the impact of COVID-19, restore the viability of the hospitality and tourism sector, promote public health measures, and bolster traveler and employee confidence,” Ledesma noted.
In response to the needs of the industry, CHTA has developed an extensive collection of COVID-19 resources, including the Caribbean Tourism Health Safety Training Series, comprehensive industry health safety guidelines and related training endorsed by the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA). The association also has hosted more than 25 live webinars addressing issues ranging from trends in travel demand and concerns over travel safety to risk management, as well as Caribbean Tourism Fireworks, a series of virtual press conferences providing destination updates to the industry, media and consumers.
Hoteliers, restaurateurs, banks, attractions, marketing agencies and other tourism-related partners who renew or sign up for a new CHTA membership enjoy access to hallmark events, such as the association’s annual Caribbean Travel Marketplace and the Caribbean Hospitality Industry Exchange Forum (CHIEF), several virtual events, and a range of educational tools and training materials. CHTA also offers a variety of services and products thanks to strategic partnerships with brands such as Amadeus, MasterCard, STR and Travelzoo, and the U.S. Virgin Islands Department of Tourism.
“CHTA remains committed to this dynamic and essential industry, and to ensure our collective success, we need the support of our members,” added Ledesma.
Ledesma reminded stakeholders that for the first time in nearly 40 years, Caribbean Travel Marketplace, the premier annual gathering where Caribbean hospitality and tourism professionals meet with regional colleagues and international buyers and sellers, will be staged virtually this year.
The marketing event, now in its 39th edition, is traditionally held during January, but due to the impact of the pandemic on travel and in-person gatherings, the event will take place in an online environment from May 11-14, 2021.