CANCUN, Mexico -- Reaction was mixed among delegates attending the
Caribbean Hotel Association's annual Marketplace event here to the
group's plans to raise marketing funds through the sale of guest
rooms on an Internet auction site.
Several hoteliers were relieved that a plan was "finally getting
off the ground," as one general manager put it.
Other delegates described the fund-raising plan as
CHA unveiled plans for the regional marketing initiative during
Marketplace, attended by more than 1,000 buyers and suppliers from
Allan Chastanet, chairman of CHA's marketing committee and
executive vice president of Air Jamaica, said a pilot program to
test the viability of raising funds for advertising will be
launched this winter.
Hoteliers who wish to participate in the plan can make cash
contributions to the marketing fund or opt to place unsold guest
rooms on an Internet auction site. The funds generated from the
room auction will go toward advertising.
Results of the four-month pilot program will be announced at the
Caribbean Hotel Industry Conference in Puerto Rico in June.
In other news at Marketplace:Visitor arrivals were up 12.6% in the U.S. Virgin Islands last
year, according to Monique Sibilly Hodge, acting commissioner of
A new tourism director was expected to be announced by Gov.
Charles Turnbull this week.
The office has been vacant since Turnbull took office two years
ago; several candidates were named but later rejected for various
reasons.The Butch Harmon School of Golf opened Jan. 22 at Our Lucaya
resort on Grand Bahama Island.
Harmon, who instructs Tiger Woods, Greg Norman and other golf
greats, operates a similar facility in Las Vegas.
The cost of a one-day golf training program at Our Lucaya is
$8,000 per person.SuperClubs, which operates 50 inclusive resorts in Jamaica, the
Bahamas, Cuba and Brazil under the three brands of Grand Lido,
Breezes and Hedonism, breaks ground this year on two more resorts
in Cuba, one in St. Kitts and another in Jamaica, according to Joe
Issa, president.Hilton Caribbean, with eight properties, begins construction in
April on the new 380-room Barbados Hilton.
Daniel Hughes, vice president of operations, said Hilton "is
looking seriously at acquiring three existing properties in the
U.S. Virgin Islands and one in San Juan."
Hughes said a new resort in Turks & Caicos also is being
studied.Visitor figures to Jamaica increased 5.6% in 2000, according to
Portia Simpson Miller, minister of tourism.
Jamaica welcomed 2.2 million visitors last year, including more
than 900,000 cruise passengers, up 18% over the previous year.