Caribbean Resort Owners, Managers Line Up for Caribbean Hotel Idea Exchange Forum

05 September 2015 10:02am
Caribbean Resort Owners, Managers Line Up for Caribbean Hotel Idea Exchange Forum

The Caribbean Hotel & Tourism Association's (CHTA) inaugural Caribbean Hospitality Industry Exchange Forum (CHIEF) has drawn attention of innovative hoteliers from across the region as well as top speakers from a variety of industry segments. This long-needed networking and educational conference will take place Oct. 2-4 in Puerto Rico.

“We want to bring together all segments of the marketplace designed to help industry professionals save money, earn more money and create operating efficiencies at small, midsize and large properties," said Emil Lee, president of CHTA. "The concepts that will be presented are practical and executable ideas that will help to improve profitability," Lee added.

"There has been nothing like CHIEF in the Caribbean for the past two decades and we are excited that the event is working as planned to bring together the industry," said Lee. "We are finding that CHIEF is filling a void in the conference agenda via sessions targeted to sales, operations and sustainability as evidenced by hoteliers' inclination to register multiple individuals from each departmental area," Lee added.

CHIEF is designed to help hoteliers compete effectively in the 21st Century. Many of the sessions are devoted to helping small, independent hotels while others have been developed to assist the large chain hotels compete in the difficult Caribbean environment.

Overall, the program is structured to bring all segments of the marketplace together for networking and ultimately working more closely to grow tourism. "We are seeing a high level of interest from several of our trailblazing hotel owners and managers" said Lee.

Sandals Resorts International Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Adam Stewart along with other Sandals employees will be among the feature attendees and speakers at CHIEF.

Stewart commented, "Our industry is in a constant state of change. The travel distribution channels of today are likely to differ in the future. Our success is predicated on our ability to anticipate change and adapt to reach our customers and address their needs. CHTA's CHIEF event will bring top-level thinking to the table to add greater insight into our business planning. It's important for the region's hoteliers to come together at events like CHIEF. I look forward to being part of this important dialogue."

"I've got a small successful hotel, but I am always looking to see what others are doing so I can stay competitive," said Lorraine Wheatley, Co-Owner/Manager of the Anegada Reef Hotel, British Virgin Islands. "CHIEF offers me an opportunity to compare what both chain hotels and independent resorts are doing to stay ahead of the crowd," she added.

"I am looking forward to attending CHIEF to exchange experiences and to learn about best practices that my colleagues'/competitors are using," said Ewald Biemans, owner, Bucuti and Tara Beach Resorts in Aruba. "I also want to network with other industry executives to hear how we can maximize awareness in the global marketplace," he added.

Other notable attendees and speakers include: Nathan Lump, Travel + Leisure editor, Demetrius Canton, Expedia, Brian Payea, TripAdvisor and Gonzalo del Peon, AMResorts.

It is not too late to register for CHIEF, scheduled Oct. 2-4, 2015 at El Conquistador Resort, A Waldorf Astoria Resort in Puerto Rico. CHIEF registration and complete event details are available at To register, email or call 786-476-8623.

CHIEF provides a forum for exchanging best tourism industry practices. The program includes peer-to-peer exchange sessions in Operations, Sales & Marketing, and sustainability which are focused on helping businesses generate revenue, reduce costs and increase efficiency.

Hoteliers will walk away with practical business tips and best practices for tackling operational and marketing challenges. The educational tracks will be led by experts from a variety of travel, tourism and hospitality industry segments featuring roundtable panels.

CHIEF is organized with the support of hosts including Interval International and MasterCard; platinum sponsors Cable and Wireless and TravelZoo; gold sponsors Adara, AskMe,, Choice Hotels International, Expedia, JackRabbit Systems Inc., OBMI, Oracle, Sojern, STR, The New York Times, TravAlliance Media and World Media.

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