Travel Weeklys Caribbean E-letter: July 4, 2006

NEW PRESIDENT of the Caribbean Hotel Association is Peter Odle, owner and managing director of the 76-room Mango Bay Hotel in Barbados as well as the owner of Island Inn, Sunswept Beach and Regent hotels, all in Barbados. Odle also assumed the role of chairman of the Barbados Tourism Authority on July 1, replacing Hudson Husbands, who stepped down to pursue business interests in his Tourism Global consulting firm. The CHA torch was passed to Odle at the recent Caribbean Hotel Industry Conference in Miami from St. Lucian hotelier Berthia Parle, who served as CHA head for the past two years. Odle pledged to follow the path set by Parle to further solidify the partnerships with the Caribbean Tourism Organization, the Florida Caribbean Cruise Association and the European Union; to continue the education and training of Caribbean nationals in the hospitality sector; to reconnect with the small hotels with a possible reinstatement of the Small Hotels Retreat, which was abandoned several years ago; and to stay on top of the new legislation coming out of Europe, much of which impacts the Caribbean hospitality industry, he said. At a high-level task force meeting set for July 20, Odle and his team will re-examine the CHA, now 40 years old. Well look at where weve been and where we want to go, he said.

A NUMBER OF CARIBBEAN HOTELS may soon be part of a region-wide online hotel rating system, thanks to a partnership between Mobil Travel Guide and the Texas-based Freeman Group, a hospitality and tourism service evaluation firm. The venture, which was announced at CHIC, marks Mobil Travel Guides plans to go worldwide with its Star rating system. The Mobil Travel Guide has rated hotels, restaurants and spas in the U.S. and Canada since 1958 by using teams of anonymous inspectors working with a checklist of 750 criteria. The Caribbean reviews, which will be evaluated by MTGs field inspectors and undercover service evaluators, will appear on line at www.mobiltravelguide.com, just as they do now for 9,000 hotels and restaurants and 300 spas in the U.S. and Canada.

AWARDS FROM CHIC

" Winners in CHAs Taste of the Caribbean regional culinary competition: Chef of the Year, Hans van de Triest, the Floris Suite Hotel in Curacao; Bartender of the Year, Paul Peterson, Temptation restaurant in St. Maarten; and Pastry Chef of the Year, Tracey Sweeting, Radisson Cable Beach & Golf Resort, Nassau.

" Named CHAs hotelier of the year was Anthony Bowen, general manager of the Windjammer Landing Villa Beach Resort & Spa in St. Lucia; honored as CHAs allied member of the year was George de Mercado, senior executive, marketing and sales, Air Jamaica.

" Hotel employees and associations honored at CHA: Avril Patricia Culley, activities coordinator at the Aruba Phoenix Beach Resort, 2006 Caribbean Employee of the Year; Raymond Lowe, maintenance manager at Green Turtle Club, Abaco, the Bahamas, 2006 Supervisor of the Year; Don Werdekker, executive vice president of the Curacao Hospitality & Tourism Association, 2006 Small Hotel Association Executive of the Year; Jorge Pesquera, president and CEO of the Aruba Hotel & Tourism Association, 2006 Large Hotel Association Executive of the Year.

" The American Express Caribbean Environmental Award in the small hotel category went to 3 Rivers Eco Lodge & Sustainable Living Centre (for the second year) in Rosalie, Dominica, a property powered entirely by sun. In the large hotel category, the award went to Sandals Montego Bay in Montego Bay, Jamaica. The Caribbean Alliance for Sustainable Tourism (CAST) honored the Amsterdam Manor Beach Resort in Aruba as the best overall performer in sustainable tourism practices, while the Manchebo Beach Resort & Spa, also in Aruba, earned the award for the most improved hotel in that category.

SPECIAL NOTE: Beginning in July, the Caribbean e-letter will be published every other Tuesday, beginning with the July 4 edition.

Caribbean Editor:

Gay Nagle Myers

Phone: (201) 902-1591

[email protected]

For promotional opportunities in the E-letters, contact [email protected].

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