CHTA says online roundtables seek to build stronger Caribbean tourism


CHTA says online roundtables seek to build stronger Caribbean tourism

Saturday, September 26, 2020

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FLORIDA, United States (CMC)—The Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA) has kicked off a series of online round-table discussions saying it is part of its wider efforts to help accelerate the rebuilding of the Caribbean tourism sector and to ensure the region emerges from coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) stronger than it was before the pandemic that brought the lifeblood industry to a virtual standstill.

CHTA Roundtables will be held each Friday for the next five weeks, gathering peer groups on Zoom meetings to receive brief industry updates, hear from leaders in the region, and share in candid dialogue on challenges, successes, and best practices.

CHTA President Patricia Affonso-Dass, speaking at the inaugural meeting, described the sessions as proactive efforts “to embrace and provide a valuable service to hospitality and tourism stakeholders in the region”.

Hotel owners, managing directors, general managers and human resources leaders; hospitality and tourism allied members and suppliers; tourism business leaders affiliated with restaurants, attractions and other activities; and other tourism stakeholders are being invited to participate in various virtual discussions.

“Our collective ideas, increased engagement — both at a national and regional level and at all levels of our organisations — and an active relationship with our public sector colleagues and agencies, as well as those in health, will be critical to our being able to survive and more importantly, thrive, after COVID,” said Affonso-Dass. Said she is keen to bring together CHTA members, non-members and all those invested in the industry's future to chart a way forward.

The CHTA president asserted that the rebuilding and reimagining of the sector depends on everyone. “This is a time for out-of-the-box thinking, dreaming big, keeping our eyes firmly fixed on the future … it presents us with an amazing opportunity to define what we want our businesses and our region to look like for the coming years,” she said.

Affonso-Dass urged roundtable participants to challenge established ideas and freely share concerns and challenges. “This is our association, our region, our industry and it is up to us to ensure that we come out of COVID better and stronger than we were before this all began,” she said.

Chief executive officer and CHTA director general Frank Comito said the roundtables presented “a unique opportunity to become a part of the solution of 'Building Back the Caribbean'”.

CHTA plans to parlay the information gathered through the virtual gatherings to guide future association activities.

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