MIAMI -- After
two years as president of the Caribbean Hotel Association, Berthia
Parle has passed the executive baton to Peter Odle, who had served
under Parle as the CHA's first vice president.
The changing of
the guard took place at the CHA's annual Caribbean Hotel Industry
Conference (CHIC) in late June.
Odle, who is
general manager of Mango Bay Beach Hotel in Barbados, also owns
Island Inn, Sunswept and Regent in Barbados and assumed the role of
chairman of the Barbados Tourism Authority on July 1.
In terms of
achievements during her two-year term, Parle said that "bridging
the great tourism divide and solidifying partnerships with the
Caribbean Tourism Organization, the Florida Caribbean Cruise
Association and the European Union" were at the top of her
"My reward comes
in the knowledge that I was able to contribute my grain of
Caribbean sand to set the wheels of change in motion and to take
Caribbean tourism to unprecedented heights," she said.
Parle was a
visible Caribbean presence in Europe in the past two years, heading
up discussions with the European Union in Brussels on the role of
Caribbean tourism and the environment as well as the role of
tourism as a development tool.
In Austria at the
EU's Latin American-Caribbean Summit, Parle spearheaded a
presentation on the link between Caribbean tourism and
"CHA now is
looking outside the hotel industry, and we've got a lot more groups
communicating together. I am confident I have built a solid
foundation and am excited by what lies ahead for CHA," she
concerned that "there is still a disconnect between tourism and
other ministries of government."
"I advocate an
intra-ministerial caucus once a month so that tourism ministers get
the ear of and support from other government ministers," she
training of Caribbean nationals in the hospitality sector remain
critical to fostering a greater understanding of "the important
role of tourism in their lives, their livelihoods and in the
economies of the entire region," according to Parle.
Odle, who said
that he and Parle have similar operating styles, said he intends to
follow the path set by his predecessor.
CHA leadership with our members through consultations and frequent
communications, and my strategic plan is to take the association
forward as she did," Odle said.
in the works include a possible reinstatement of the Small Hotels
Retreat, which was abandoned several years ago. "The Caribbean's
small properties have said they feel a disconnect with the rest of
CHA, so we may revisit the idea of holding that retreat again,"
More than 65% of
CHA's member properties are those with 75 rooms or
The Gold Book,
the directory of CHA member hotels published twice a year, "is a
revenue stream for CHA but we may examine its format and focus,"
There's also talk
that CHIC may be combined with the Caribbean Tourism Organization's
reporter Gay Nagle Myers, send e-mail to [email protected].