The Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA) is inviting the region’s hospitality sector to submit nominations for the coveted Caribbean Hospitality Industry Exchange Forum (CHIEF) Awards, to be presented in Miami this summer.
“The CHIEF Awards shine a spotlight on the four areas we consider critical to the resilience and healthy growth of the tourism and hospitality sectors, which are the bedrock of our region’s economies,” CHTA President Karolin Troubetzkoy said. The awards honor the best practices in Environmental Sustainability, Operations, Sales and Marketing, and Social Responsibility.
“This year, judges will be looking for submissions that also highlight the value of unity and innovation, which are even more important after a most harrowing period for the region,” added Troubetzkoy.
“It has been an incredibly difficult season for many across our sector – but I’m proud of the way our people emerged from adversity while maintaining their commitments to conserving the environment, keeping operations sharp, and enhancing sales and marketing, while ensuring solid social responsibility in their communities,” added Frank Comito, CEO of CHTA.
“It has been heartwarming to witness everybody pulling together, pooling resources and finding imaginative ways of getting back to normal, which is why this year’s theme, ‘Unite and Innovate’, is so very apt,” Comito said.
Eligible entrants include active CHTA and national hotel/tourism association members, ministries and departments of tourism, travel industry stakeholders such as online travel agents, travel intermediaries and trade press, CHTA strategic partners and sponsors, and members of the public.
Sanovnik Destang, President of the St. Lucia Hotel and Tourism Association, which won the 2017 CHIEF Award for Operations, saw many benefits from the annual forum: “CHIEF for me is quite simply the best education forum of its type for the Caribbean hospitality sector and its needs. Whereas other conferences focus on marketing and building relationships, CHIEF deals with both sides of the ledger, including cost containment, and this year it has new topics on insurance and financing, which are very timely.”
Ewald Biemans, Owner and CEO of Bucuti and Tara Beach Resorts in Aruba, whose hotel won last year’s CHIEF Award for Environmental Sustainability, considers the conference invaluable. “We attend CHIEF for the networking opportunities, educational sessions and to catch up on what is happening today in the world of hospitality and the Caribbean tourism industry. This trade show is a one-stop shop for many of our needs.”
“We were truly honored to be recognized for the hard work and dedication of our entire team by the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association,” reflected Neemah Persad-Celestine, Marketing Communications Manager of Hyatt Regency Trinidad. “To be recognized (last year) for our social responsibility was important to us as we continuously work with our community to support their development wherever we can. This acknowledgement has reinforced that we can all help (whether in a small or big way) to make a positive change.”
Nominations must be submitted to CHTA by Thursday, April 26. Submissions will be rated on approach, results and application. CHTA encourages the inclusion of visuals, videos, charts and graphs in support of the nomination.
The finalists will be announced next month, and the top three in each category will be invited to present their best practices at CHIEF from June 22 to 24 at the Hyatt Regency Miami, where the overall winner in each category will be announced.
CHIEF is the Caribbean hospitality industry’s premier event for collaborative discourse and offers unparalleled networking opportunities for veterans and newcomers alike.