CHTA CEO Frank Comito (left) and CHTA President Patricia Affonso-Dass (right) congratulate Marie Fielden of True Blue Bay Resort and Villas in Grenada, who were 2018 finalists.

Caribbean Hospitality Industry Exchange Forum (CHIEF) to recognize tourism best practices

MIAMI (April 2, 2019) – The Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA) is inviting nominations for the Caribbean Hospitality Industry Exchange Forum (CHIEF) Awards from the region’s tourism and hospitality sector as it recognizes outstanding initiatives that are making a difference in the industry.

The CHIEF Awards were established five years ago to recognize, celebrate and share best practices, which are then presented at CHTA’s annual CHIEF forum. This year’s event is  scheduled to take place at Hyatt Regency Miami from June 21 to 23, 2019.

“Caribbean hoteliers and tourism-related businesses continue to elevate their game, recognizing that offering incredible sun, sand and sea is not sufficient to compete in the growing global tourism marketplace,” stated CHTA president Patricia Affonso-Dass.

Best practices are being sought in four key areas: Environmental Sustainability, Operations, Sales and Marketing, and Social Responsibility.

Nominations of CHTA members may be submitted and drawn from recommendations by CHTA members, government tourism offices, travel industry stakeholders, CHTA strategic partners, and the general public.

Submissions will be rated on the approach undertaken, results achieved, and the application of the approach as a best practice.

Affonso-Dass noted “the nominations are also avenues for resort owners and operators to honor their outstanding staff members who made these practices the best.”

The CHTA president said the CHIEF Awards should contribute to the resilience and healthy growth of the tourism and hospitality sectors: “This year, we will be looking very closely at best practices which can be shared throughout the region. We want the finalists and winners to have bragging rights and we want others to aspire to replicate and adapt these winning initiatives into their own operations.”

Past award recipients in the Environmental Sustainability category have included Hamanasi Adventure & Dive Resort in Belize, Bucuti & Tara Beach Resort in Aruba, and the Rosalie Bay Resort in Dominica.

Top honors for Sales and Marketing have gone to Ocean Hotels in Barbados, Aruba Tourism Authority, The Somerset on Grace Bay in the Turks and Caicos Islands, and Elegant Hotels in Barbados.

Previous winners for Operations have included the St. Lucia Hotel and Tourism Association, Ocean Two Resort & Residences in Barbados, and Sandals Grande St. Lucian Spa & Beach Resort.

The Social Responsibility category was introduced two years ago and top honors have gone to Ocean Two Resort and Residences and Hyatt Regency Trinidad.

The top three finalists this year in each category will be invited to present their best practices at CHIEF in June. The finalists and overall winner will be recognized at the forum’s awards session.

CHIEF will be held under the theme “Vision 2024: Embracing Change, Diversity and Growth”.

“As CHIEF enters its fifth year, our theme dovetails well with the awards’ objective  of recognizing and sharing the outstanding work of many in our industry,” added Affonso-Dass.

Nominations are open until Friday, April 12, 2019.  Applications are available at:

Registration for this year’s CHIEF event has opened, with details available at or by contacting

About the Caribbean Hospitality Industry Exchange Forum (CHIEF)
Produced by the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA), the Caribbean Hospitality Industry Exchange Forum (CHIEF) is the premier educational forum for Caribbean hospitality and tourism professionals. CHIEF is where hospitality industry professionals assemble to connect, learn best practices, share ideas, brainstorm creative solutions to current challenges and build relationships. Held under the theme, “Vision 2024: Embracing Change, Diversity and Growth”, the forum attracts hoteliers, vendors, government officials and industry experts focused on a stronger, profitable and more sustainable industry.

For further information, visit

About the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA)
The Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA) is the Caribbean’s leading association representing the interests of national hotel and tourism associations. For more than 50 years, CHTA has been the backbone of the Caribbean hospitality industry. Working with some 1,000 hotel and allied members, and 33 National Hotel Associations, CHTA is shaping the Caribbean’s future and helping members to grow their businesses. Whether navigating new worlds like social media, sustainability, legislative issues, emerging technologies, climate change, data and intelligence or, looking for avenues and ideas to better market and manage businesses, CHTA is helping members on issues which matter most.

For further information, visit

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