MIAMI -- The winds
of change shaping the face of Caribbean business -- the Internet
revolution, social values, demography and competition -- came under
scrutiny at the keynote session of the annual Caribbean Hotel
Industry Conference, sponsored by the Caribbean Hotel Association
held here from June 25 to 28.
During the session,
moderator Peter Yesawich, chairman and CEO of Yesawich, Pepperdine,
Brown & Russell, noted the rise in Internet usage of U.S.
travelers, up from 10% 10 years ago to 85% in 2006 and a lively
round of debate followed.
The rise of the
Internet is the single most important event since the jet airplane,
said Vincent Vanderpool-Wallace,
secretary general of the Caribbean Tourism Organization. We, in the
Caribbean tourism industry, need to mirror what is happening in the
chairman of the Barbados Tourism Authority partner in Tourism
Global, a professional services firm
specializing in the hospitality and tourism industry throughout the
Caribbean, acknowledged that the
Caribbean is losing ground in this area and is slipping in relation
to the natural competition in the marketplace.
tourism leaders was Ewart Brown, Bermudas minister of tourism and
transport. Were going to be late if we dont hurry up. We cant be
observers to changes; we have to play.
closing tourism offices, stop paying rent and go
Frank van der Post,
senior vice president, the Americas, Jumierah hotels, added "People
today are impatient. Any Website has to be easy to manage and
navigate with a maximum of three clicks."
In other CHIC news,
Berthia Parle stepped down as CHA president, a post she held for
the past two years, and passed the baton to Peter Odle, general
manager of Mango Bay Hotel in Barbados.
Parles legacy as
the first female head in the organizations history is that I have
built a solid foundation and I feel that the partnerships formed
with the CTO, the Florida Caribbean Cruise Association and the
European Union have helped bridge the great tourism
Parle said she
regrets that she does not see another woman in CHAs rank and file
ascending to the CHA top post anytime soon.
contact reporter Gay Nagle Myers, send e-mail to [email protected].