Caribbean tourism education to the forefront

The Miami-based Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA) says the Caribbean Hospitality Industry Exchange Forum (CHIEF), the region’s annual networking, education and best practice sharing event for hospitality and tourism business stakeholders, will bring tourism education to the forefront in 2019.

CHTA said recently that the networking conference will take place at the Hyatt Regency Miami, from June 21-23.

More than 400 hoteliers, suppliers and other hospitality and tourism sector stakeholders from across the region’s countries and territories, as well as the United States and Canada, are expected to attend the CHTA event.

“This year’s theme — ‘Vision 2024: Embracing Change, Diversity, and Growth’ – will afford a critical look at the status of our industry today, and facilitate deep discussion around how it can, and should, evolve over the next five years and beyond,” said Frank Comito, CHTA’s chief executive officer and director general.

“We have enhanced our structure and topics this year, as CHTA aims to share a balance of best practices and top trends to quench the thirst for knowledge of the latest, greatest and groundbreaking industry information,” he added.

Comito said CHIEF was created to encourage hoteliers to invest in their teams’ development, “offering multiple opportunities for advancing their understanding of trends and exposure to new products, services and methodologies being implemented in the industry.”

Over the course of two days in June, he said delegates will be able to attend general and breakout sessions, an awards presentation, an innovative trade show, and other activities to complement the core program.

Comito said this year’s “action-packed agenda” will focus on tourism’s trending topics, including understanding and adapting in a multi-generational and diverse cultural workplace; what’s hot and trending in food and beverage; what guests are seeking in a Caribbean vacation today; trends, opportunities and challenges facing the region over the next five years; and understanding guest diversity to more effectively market and maximize return on investment.

The program will feature top speakers and panelists with expertise in hospitality, tourism and the cultivation of diverse and high-performing talent at all levels, Comito said.

“CHIEF has been well-received by attendees because it is the connector for industry professionals. They are provided with the tools necessary to stay connected with people, implement new projects and develop their ideas,” said Patricia Affonso-Dass, CHTA president, stating that the regional trade association has taken those differentiators and elevated them, providing a well-balanced agenda that allows for even greater engagement, sharing and takeaways.

“We’ve developed a new concept for this year — CHIEF Talks,” she added. “The CHIEF talks, which were developed with the similar guidelines of TED Talks, will be delivered by renowned industry leaders to ignite a spark in each of the attendees and inspire them for leadership and growth in their respective businesses.

“We want to motive each of our attendees to implement these new discoveries and apply the knowledge they’ve taken away from CHIEF,” Affonso-Dass continued.

She said CHIEF is one of three CHTA events scheduled concurrently in June.

Affonso-Dass said “Taste of the Caribbean,” also taking place at the Hyatt Regency Miami from June 21-25, features top culinary teams from each of the participating Caribbean nations and territories, as they compete for recognition and awards.

In addition, Affonso-Dass saud CHTA shares talent through its signature cultural celebration, “Caribbean305,” to be held on June 22 in Miami.

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