SAN JUAN -- Berthia
Parle, new president of the Caribbean Hotel Association (CHA), set
her agenda in very clear terms in her inauguration speech at the
recent Caribbean Hotel Industry Conference (CHIC) here.
Our industry is the
platform for our regional economy. I will concentrate on
establishing lasting partnerships with regional and international
bodies in the Caribbean to consolidate and achieve maximum economic
opportunity in tourism, Parle said.
She called on the
Caribbean hotel sector to showcase its best practices and to push
the envelope of corporate social responsibility to new
We need to do much
more to promote our own social programs -- otherwise, we risk being
taken for granted for the good that we do, and this will fuel the
perception that we are not doing enough, she said.
Parle pointed out
that the private sector must work with its public-sector partners,
and she said she hopes to have Caricom heads of government and
ministers and directors of tourism meet with the private sector at
least once a year to discuss, confront and resolve the issues,
challenges and needs of this industry.
The new president
appealed to CHA members to be proactive in laying the foundation
for positive change through constructive networking, dialogue and
I have no wish to
preside over an organization where members are passive and asleep
at the wheel, she said.
Parle, a 30-year
hospitality veteran, is the general manager of Bay Gardens Hotel
and Bay Gardens Inn in St. Lucia, a leading small hotel in the
She served as
president of the St. Lucia Hotel & Tourism Association, as a
director and an officer of CHA and as chairman of the CHA Small
Also at CHIC, St.
Maarten hotelier Robert Dubourcq, general manager of Great Bay
Beach Resort, was named hotelier of the year. He was one of the
founders of the St. Maarten Hospitality & Trade
reporter Gay Nagle Myers, send e-mail to [email protected].