Black Meetings and Tourism

March / April 2023

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B M & T ••• March/April 2023 ••• 43 C A R I B B E A N C O R N E R CHTA ANNOUNCES VPS The Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA) is heading into the 2022-2024 biennium with a new slate of vice presidents in support of current President Nicola Madden- Greig of the Courtleigh Hospitality Group in Jamaica. At the organization's annual general meeting in November, St. Lucian hotelier Sanovnik Destang, Executive Director of Bay Gardens Resorts Group was confirmed as the new First Vice President. The award-winning Destang is a Chartered Accountant and Chartered Financial Analyst and a former president of the Saint Lucia Hospitality and Tourism Association. Second Vice President is Gregor Nassief, Chairman & CEO of GEMS Holdings Limited, which owns the pop- ular Secret Bay and Fort Young Hotel in Dominica. Nassief previously served as Deputy Chairman of Discover Dominica Authority and president of the Dominica Hotel & Tourism Association. The 3rd Vice President is Federico Moreno-Nickerson, Vice President of Development for AMResorts/Apple Leisure Group. Originally from Mexico, Moreno-Nickerson has served on CHTA's Executive Committee since 2017. His vast experi- ence over 30 years in the hospitality industry includes being a founding member of the World Heritage Alliance between Expedia Inc. and the United Nations Foundation. Paola Rainieri de Diaz has been named CHTA's 4th Vice President. She is past President of the Hotel and Tourism Association of the Dominican Republic (ASONAHORES), and a Chief Marketing Officer for Grupo Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic. Bill Clegg, a long time supporter of CHTA, will continue to serve as 5th Vice President. As Regional Director, Franchise Development at Best Western Hotels & Resorts, he is respon- sible for the mid-Atlantic and Caribbean regions. Prior to that he served for more than two decades in various executive lead- ership roles with Choice Hotels. Jim Hepple, the proprietor of Tourism Analytics, whose tourism experience spans the length and breadth of the Caribbean, remains treasurer of CHTA. A former president and CEO of the Aruba Hotel and Tourism Association, the Aruba-based Hepple has served numerous tourism agencies in the region at the highest executive level. "I look forward to working closely with these incredible leaders," said Madden-Greig, who explained they represent a group with the right combination of "expertise, experience and energy" to take the regional association forward over the next two years. Madden-Greig, who has served the association with distinc- tion over the past year – including leading CHTA's production of the 40th Caribbean Travel Marketplace in San Juan, Puerto Rico, as well as mounting the first annual Caribbean Travel Forum – said emerging from the COVID-19 pandemic there is greater recognition of the need to embrace continued learning, collaboration and innovation to take Caribbean tourism to the next level. "It is the inten- tion of the CHTA Executive in 2023 to forge new partner- ships towards tack- ling the climate cri- sis, leveraging tech- nology, and shep- herding more Caribbean entrepre- neurs along the path towards sustainable wealth creation across the region," Madden-Greig stated. JAMAICA CELEBRATES THEIR TOP PERFORMING TRAVEL SPECIALISTS AT THE ANNUAL ONE LOVE AFFAIR IN MONTEGO BAY Sixty North American Jamaica Travel Specialists Participate in Exclusive Incentive Trip and Award Gala Pictured: Donnie Dawson, Deputy Director, The Americas, JTB (front, left) and Donovan White, Director of Tourism, JTB (front, right), pose for a group photo with Jamaica's top North American travel specialists at the One Love Affair gala in Montego Bay on December 17, 2022. The top 60 North American Travel Specialists from the Jamaica Travel Specialist (JTS) program were recognized and rewarded for a successful 2022 year at the annual One Love Affair at Secrets St. James Resort in Montego Bay. Fifty agents across the different regions of the U.S. and 10 agents from Canada were awarded during the four-day event. For the past decade, the Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB) has hosted their annual One Love Affair to incentivize and celebrate their dedicated travel specialists. In 2022, 174,000 room nights (60,000 tourists) were sold from September 1, 2021 – October 30, 2022. The agents work

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