Current News - May 2015

iFood: The Profitable Marriage
Of Food And Technology

After furiously searching on Googling, spending hours on an airplane or ship, you arrive at your dream Caribbean destination tired and starving. For those that love to travel and love to eat, few things are more rewarding than to be welcomed at a hotel where you are made to feel as if you’ve returned to a home you never knew you had. A place you will be fed, and fed some more, and given fine beverages. And then, after you’ve eaten enough, and after you’ve had a restorative nap or a stroll, you’ll eat some more, and relax some more, and realize how lucky you are to be precisely where you are right at that moment.
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Winners Of Taste Of The Caribbean:
Where Are They Now?

Taste of the Caribbean, the premier culinary competition and cultural showcase, brings food and beverage specialists together to witness the latest techniques utilized during the competition. Chefs and bartenders can meet face-to-face with their peers from around the industry to discuss industry trends that will help them in their respective fields. Participating teams, event sponsors and all attendees benefit from exploring industry trends and exchanging ideas, skills and techniques.Taste of the Caribbean returns to Miami for its fourth consecutive year and will take place at the Hyatt Regency, Miami, June 12 – 14, 2015. Read the full story >

CHTA’s CHIEF Hospitality Forum Designed To Help Hotels ‘Make More Money & Save More Money’
CHTA's new Caribbean Hospitality Industry Exchange Forum (CHIEF) provides best practices and hands-on learning opportunities to help hoteliers "make more money and save more money." CHIEF incorporates a variety of educational tracks so attendees can walk away with practical business tips. The educational tracks will be led by experts from a variety of travel, tourism and hospitality industry segments featuring roundtable panels with one-one-one discussions on Operations, Sales & Marketing, and Environment and Energy. The opening session on Oct. 2 will feature a keynote address, which will establish the tone for the forum, providing information and insight into industry trends and their application to business planning and marketing strategies aimed at increasing revenue and bottom lines. CHIEF general sessions include a State of the Industry Panel that will look at performance trends, overview of the region’s economics and hospitality industry results by country and market segments. The Future of Travel Distribution and Channel Management will explore changes in demand and the impact on hotels and resorts in the region. The session will look at trends in GDS, OTAs, hotel direct, mobile voice and other channels and provide suggestions for implementing a channel management strategy to grow revenues. Registration will open next week. Be on the lookout for more details and exciting news. If you would like to pre-register, click on this link.

CHTA Upcoming Events – Save The Dates
JUNE 11, 2015 - Annual General Meeting
JANUARY 21-23, 2016 - Caribbean Travel Marketplace
JANUARY 18-19, 2016 - CSHAE Leadership Conference & Committee & Board of Directors Meeting

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Save Over $200 On Chicos Registration
Early registration is open through June 26, 2015 for the 5th Caribbean Hotel Investment Conference and Operations Summit providing delegates with a savings over $200. CHICOS is taking place Nov. 12-13, 2015 at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Click here to register.

CHTA Forges Strategic Partnership With
Cable & Wireless Communications

CHTA has signed a Strategic Partnership agreement with Cable & Wireless Communications Plc (CWC), a full-service communications provider operating in 16 countries throughout the Caribbean and Latin America. As a Strategic Partner, CWC will work with hoteliers as the business solutions provider behind the end-to-end hospitality deployment of full IP network and telephony in the Caribbean, helping CHTA members reduce costs and increase efficiency in hotel operations. CWC will play a major role in upcoming energy efficiency education and networking events.

Submit An Article For Our June Newsletter:
The Hurricane Issue!

Hurricane season begins again and our June newsletter will focus on all issues pertaining to emergency preparedness of all kinds, how the tourism industry is committed to the safety as well as to remaining financially resilient during a crisis. CHTA members, strategic partners and sponsors are invited to contribute an article to this exciting issue. Email your articles to with the subject “June Newsletter Contribution”. Due Date: Monday, June 1st, 2015 Read the full story >

Save The Date For Taste Of Anguilla On May 30th
Anguilla Hotel and Tourism Association

Anguilla National Culinary Team (ANCT) Chefs will host their annual and much anticipated fundraising event “Taste of Anguilla, A showcase of Foods” at Aleta Restaurant poolside, Viceroy Anguilla on May 30th 2015, from 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm. This premier event will feature a cadre of some of Anguilla’s finest restaurants, with a few new additions this year. The lively social setting and festive ambience are unparalleled as guests enjoy the various samplings of exquisite culinary fare. Again this year there will be a special offering of just desserts for sweet tooth enthusiasts. The popular Margarita Bar, which is always well received, will be serviced by our Culinary Team Bartender, Mr. Garvey Lake, and we are already hearing talk of a special Mojito or two. Tickets for the Culinary Showcase of food event will be available shortly and can be purchased at the AHTA/ATB offices in the Valley, Paradise Cove Hotel, Anacaona Boutique Hotel, Veya, Surajai’s restaurant or any member of the 2015 National Culinary team. Tickets will be US$70.00 per person. You may call the AHTA with further questions regarding tickets at 264-476-2944.

Dominican Republic Seeks To Extend
Tourism Growth Beyond Punta Cana Core

Dominican Republic officials are partnering with private investors and hoteliers to expand visitor access and appeal to areas beyond the staple Punta Cana resort district. “Dominican tourism has been a source of stimulus,” said Simon Suarez, president of ASONAHORES, the Dominican Republic’s hotel and tourism association. “It has begun to be manifest in very robust investments in the tourism sector as it relates to infrastructure as well as the hotel industry,” he said. Speaking at the Dominican Annual Travel Exchange (DATE) conference, Suarez said 60 percent of the 5.1 million travelers who visited the country in 2014 arrived in Punta Cana. Officials are seeking to draw visitors to other regions, in particular the historic capital city of Santo Domingo, where the government is nearly finished with a multi-million dollar renovation of Colonial Zone infrastructure and historic sites. For the full article, click here (Source: Travel Pulse).

The Boys And Girls Clubs Develops Professional Development Program In Tourism
Puerto Rico Hotel and Tourism Association

The Boys and Girls Clubs of Puerto Rico along with the Department of Housing and the Public Housing Administration re-inaugurated its first Club at the Ernesto Ramos Antonini housing project in Rio Piedras. This Club will focus on academic and professional development for children, youth and adults in the hospitality industry. In the remodeled facility, a hotel will be recreated as part of a Professional Training Center where the youth and adults will be trained in specialized skills of the tourism industry. This program is unique for the children and youth population in Puerto Rico, which creates opportunities for them to establish their own businesses and insert themselves in the labor world with the best skills. This program was created for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Puerto Rico in an alliance with the Puerto Rico Hotel and Tourism Association, which will support by integrating industry professionals to the Consultant Board of the Club and offer workshops and Customer Service Certification to the participants. For more information visit or call (787) 268-4504.

Anatol Win Big At International Hospitality
& Tourism Management Competition

Each year the American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute (AHLEI) hosts high school students from around the world who come to Orlando, Florida to showcase their skills in a 2-day competition that challenges participants with events based on real-world job scenarios in the hospitality industry. Students compete for scholarship dollars from leading hospitality universities and the ultimate prize - a trip to New York City for the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AH&LA) Fall Conference and International Hotel, Motel + Restaurant Show (IHMRS) where they will rub elbows with some of the most important leaders in our industry. The Bahamas team from Anatol Rodgers High School, coached by Janelle Cambridge-Johnson took home the first prize and was the first international school to win the competition. Congratulations to the students, coach and all the supporters of this talented and determined team. Well done!

A Rising Star Shines A Light On Food & Beverage Hiring Challenges In The Caribbean
The International Society of Hospitality Consultants (ISHC) and Burba Hotel Network (BHN) presented Christal Stubbs, Director of Human Resources for the British Colonial Hilton in Nassau, with the 2015 Rising Star Award Caribbean at the Caribbean Hotel & Resort Investment Summit (CHRIS). As the Human Resources Director, Ms. Stubbs has proven to be a dedicated and invaluable asset to the success of the hotel as well as an extremely effective leader within the Bahamian tourism industry. Read the full story >

Superior Service Every Time
Everyone has experienced the acute frustration that comes with lousy service. We navigate endless phone menus while in hope of talking to a human. The cable guy who's supposed to show up between noon and 4 p.m. is late. We sit at a restaurant with a bowl of soup in front of us, but there's no spoon in sight. Good customer service means making your guests feel welcome and taken care of. It means that no matter how they come to you, they leave happy. Most important, no matter what the business, giving good service means your customer will come back for more. It takes knowledge, skill, awareness, and creativity to be a great server. This article from Hotel F&B gives great tips and tricks to help your staff exceed expectations every time. Click here to read more.

Caribbean Hotels Grow With Local Ingredients
AskMe Inc.

The trend of Caribbean hotels growing and sourcing more local ingredients is blossoming. “Small farms enable islands to be more sustainable and provide the freshest, most flavorful ingredients,” says Hilary Lanzer of AskMeInc, a destination weddings and honeymoons company that reports more couples requesting local foods and flavors in their wedding menus and decor. Read the full story >

Rum Rides The Craft Liquor Wave
Four Seasons Resort Nevis

Rums are no stranger to the Caribbean. With different rums from the various islands, a rum sampling is a must while in the Caribbean. However, many travelers do not go beyond the ubiquitous rum punch or a mojito. Camilla Stahl, restaurant manager of Mango’s and the 101 Rums Bar at Four Seasons Resort Nevis, is trying to change that with initiatives such as rum tastings and rum pairing menus that feature rums individually. Oftentimes, Stahl says, guests will come in and ordering something else, claiming they don’t like rum. With a couple questions about what guests normally drink, Stahl can find rums that will fit their palates. Read the full story >

St. Lucia Welcomes The Eastern
Caribbean’s First Open-Water Sports Park
Bay Gardens Beach Resort & Spa

This summer St. Lucia's Reduit Beach in Rodney Bay Village will become the home to the Eastern Caribbean's first open-water sports park and one of the Caribbean's wettest and wildest family attractions! Splash Island Water Park St. Lucia opening in August 2015 will be located on Reduit Beach in front of the multi award winning Bay Gardens Beach Resort & Spa,, rated among the top 100 hotels in the World by Expedia and Fodors and recognized as one of the Caribbean's top 25 Budget Family Friendly Resorts by The Family Travel Network. Kids, families and weekend warriors alike will delight in this Caribbean water park's many obstacle-course style features. The new attraction will not only provide a floating playground of fun but balance athletic ability with plenty of slips, thrills, and spills. This inflatable, modular water park is manufactured by a German Watersports company called WIBIT, who have had over 15 years in the water park business and are in compliance with the strictest of European safety requirements (EN 15649) and testing related to materials and performance. There are over 200 WIBIT water parks, in over 60 countries but Splash Island will be the first in the Eastern Caribbean. For more information and for a chance to win free passes to St. Lucia's newest attraction visit or

Food & Beverage: The Key To Exceeding Expectations
Peter Huwiler, Appellation Ventures / Esser Wines

Although technology has changed the hospitality business over the past few years, one key factor remains in place - the people that choose to frequent the establishment and the staff that is ultimately responsible to make sure that expectations are met. Ownership should set goals for increasing average checks by providing educational seminars to enhance beverage and food knowledge, and provide incentives for excellent service that brings customers back. Have your front desk and dining room staff address the customer by their last name whenever possible. Make them feel special and welcome. Read the full story >

Do Happier People Work Harder?
Bill Moore, Director, Creative Food
and Beverage Solutions

Employee engagement may seem like a frill but it can make a big difference in a company’s survival. In a 2010 study, James K. Harter and colleagues found that lower job satisfaction foreshadowed poorer bottom-line performance. As long as workers experience their labor as meaningful, progress is often followed by joy and excitement about the work. This kind of rich inner work life improves performance, which further supports inner work life — a positive spiral. Read the full story >

Four Buzzwords To Strengthen Menus & Marketing
Whether you’re reading reviews or visiting the website of the newest restaurant in town, it’s hard not to notice common themes and the recurrence of certain descriptors. Fresh, customized, local, and authentic - These buzzwords are what Millennials want and in many ways driving the direction of the restaurant space. But words are open to interpretation and bringing these attributes to life isn’t always an easy feat. How do you create experiences that not only talk the talk but walk the walk, too? Having a clear and relevant point of view can strengthen a restaurant brand. Read the Restaurant Hospitality article for tips on making your food options fresh, authentic, customized and local.

Antigua & Barbuda Announces
Arrival Of Jetblue Airways

Antigua and Barbuda’s Minister of Tourism, Economic Development, Investment and Energy, The Hon. Asot A. Michael, announced JetBlue Airways will offer direct service from New York’s JFK International Airport to Antigua commencing Nov. 5, 2015. For more, click here (Source: Antigua Hotels and Tourist Association).

Carribbean And Mexico Hotel Development Pipeline Increases 9.7% In March
There are 165 hotels totaling 29,233 rooms Under Contract in the Caribbean/Mexico region, according to the March 2015 STR Construction Pipeline Report. This represents a 9.7-percent increase in rooms Under Contract compared with March 2014 and a 9.0-percent decrease in rooms under construction. The Under Contract data includes projects in the In Construction, Final Planning and Planning stages but does not include projects in the Unconfirmed stage. Among the countries in the region, Mexico reported the most rooms under construction with 6,291 rooms in 39 hotels. The Bahamas followed with 2,670 rooms in five hotels. Read the article.

Designing For The Palette
OBM International

The design of a restaurant or bar is as important as the food and drinks it serves. The right balance of the best ingredients will give you a winning design recipe anytime! ½ cup of Form - Cater to the senses: the usual suspects set the mood with good atmosphere and soft lighting, but we are seeing a new trend in restaurant design - “home kitchen”. Putting the chef on display; allowing guests to see the main event. Designed so that the clinical look of a back of house kitchen is no longer employed but rather now you see finishes you would have in your own kitchen.
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New Toolkit Can Help Enhance Sales
Interval International, a prominent worldwide provider of vacation services and an operating business of Interval Leisure Group (Nasdaq: IILG), has expanded its Interval Sales Tool Kit (STK) app. With STK, resort developers can seamlessly access their suite of sales tools to create compelling, turn-key presentations with the swipe of a finger. The new functionalities, “Workspace” and “Favorites,” complement the array of other cutting-edge features already available. Read the full story >

Kudos! Congratulations To Our
Members Ongoing Accomplishments

Congratulations Jim Weitkamp on your retirement from Harbor Linen T-Y Group. Mr. Weitkamp is a long standing member and supporter of CHTA, recipient of the Caribbean Allied of the Year Award (1998) and has served on our Board of Directors for 29 years as an Allied representative, as well as on our Executive Committee. He is currently Vice Chairman of the CHTA Education Foundation. Read the full story >

Virtual Tours Promotion For CHTA Members

Brafford Media and Technologies Group Inc. is pleased to present the following special offer to our fellow Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA) members. Engage your audience and close more business with a virtual tour of your hotel, venue, villa, college or business. Be the first in your Caribbean destination to sign up for a virtual tour powered by Virtual Visit and you will receive a 28% price discount on your virtual tour set-up and training. Additional discounts may also be applied. This special offer is valid until July 31, 2015. For further details please visit To schedule a guided demo contact Alicia Roachford Brathwaite at or call (613) 790-7619.

CHTA Mourns the Loss of Mr. Al Nadal
With a heavy heart our organization bids farewell to Mr. Al Nadal, a long-standing and loyal allied member of the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association. He joined our ranks in 1967 and took pride in not having missed a single CHIC since its inception. Born and raised in Cuba, Al moved to Miami in his late teens, and started in the advertising sales field at a very early age. He had forty-eight years experience in magazine and newspaper advertising sales with national, international and regional publications, and an extensive knowledge of the tourism industry in The Bahamas, Caribbean, Mexico and throughout the USA. Al was a class act, a kind and funny man, well-respected in the Caribbean tourism industry. He leaves behind his wife (whom he met through CHTA), Anita Soto Carriat, three children and four grandchildren. Passionate about motorcycles and car racing, he rode his Ducati until the last day of his life.


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