About CHTA
Empowering Caribbean Hospitality and Tourism
The History of CHTA
Established in 1959 as part of the Caribbean Tourist Association, the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA), previously the Caribbean Hotel Association (CHA) was formed to promote the needs of the hotel industry. By 1962, it gained autonomy, operating as a non-profit entity and initially centered on independent hotels with global recognition.

CHTA gradually diversified its membership, incorporating properties across prominent destinations such as Puerto Rico, the Bahamas, and the Netherland Antilles. Over the years, CHTA's expansion has mirrored the growth of the Caribbean tourism sector, embracing a wider geographic footprint and member base, extending even to Central America and Mexico.
Our Mission Statement
To distinguish CHTA as one of the world’s leading associations representing tourism interests. Always fostering business growth, and promoting a sustainable and prosperous industry to national hotel and tourism associations and their members.
To distinguish CHTA as one of the world’s leading associations representing tourism interests. Always fostering business growth, and promoting a sustainable industry.
Shaping Our Industry
CHTA Objectives
CHTA is guided by important core values and principles, serving as the moral foundation for internal and external operations.
To be the leading unified voice of the private sector for tourism in the region partnering with the National Hotel and Tourism Associations while effectively communicating issues, proactively advancing positions and successfully protecting and enhancing the industry.
To be an essential marketing and business development resource for members by providing access to information, forums, exchanges, revenue generation and cost-saving activities, and best practices.
To ‘wow the world’ with exceptional service and hospitality, drawing upon the intrinsic sense of pride and service in our people, and advancing and supporting tourism-related education and training initiatives, scholarships, and recognition programs.
To promote policies, programs and best practices which respect our environment, support efficiencies, and develop and enhance the natural, cultural and historical aspects of our tourism offerings.
To be the primary resource for Caribbean tourism-related data, providing members with intelligence and tools to effectively use the information.
To retain and grow the organization’s membership base.
The Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association first began in 1959 as a committee of the Caribbean Tourist Association – a public/private sector organization created to promote and market the region – in response to a specific hotel lobby. In 1962, CHTA, then Caribbean Hotel Association (CHA) became an autonomous body as a not-for-profit limited liability corporation registered in the Cayman Islands.

Membership in the original CHA back in 1962 was made up of a number of independent hotels that shared an international profile, and therefore had common concerns, most significantly with the US tour operators. As CHA grew, the number of hotels increased and the geographic footprint of the organization began to expand. The industry was predominantly made up of smaller properties, with the larger branded hotels being limited to Puerto Rico, the Bahamas, and to a lesser extent the Netherland Antilles. In the early days membership came from Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Barbados, Antigua, Jamaica, Haiti, Aruba and Curacao. By the 1990’s CHA’s membership extended from Bermuda in the north to Guyana and Suriname in the south, and from Barbados in the Atlantic to Cancun and Cozumel in Mexico, and Belize and Honduras in Central America.

As CHA began to develop as a true federation of territorial associations, it became apparent that the executive directors of these associations held the key to CHA’s success. If they were ignored, they could effectively block CHA’s programs; if they were embraced, they could be of enormous value. CHA borrowed an idea from their involvement with the American Hotel & Motel Association (AH&MA), which embraced its state and city association through a professional body called the International Society of Hotel Association Executives (ISHAE). Consequently in 1985, the Caribbean Society of Hotel Association Executives (CSHAE) was formed, and has since become a core element of the federation. At the Annual General Meeting held on July, 2008, the members approved the motion to change the name of the organization to the Caribbean Hotel & Tourism Association effective immediately. This change had been under review for some time and the new name emphasized the broader membership representation of the organization to include the wider tourism industry outside of the accommodation sector especially in the Caribbean. While membership for other industry service suppliers and tourism attractions was possible under CHTA, the addition of the word Tourism is more representative of the Association and its membership.

CHTA is headquartered in Miami, Florida. The Association is governed by a board of directors elected by the member national hotel associations, according to their size. Two directors are elected to represent airlines, five to represent other allied members, one to represent chain hotels, and one each to represent the Caribbean Society of Association Executives (CSHAE), the Caribbean Association of Industry and Commerce (CAIC), the Caribbean Council (CC), and the Caribbean-Central American Action (CCAA). The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) appoints three representatives to the CHTA board.

As a result of the complete range of initiatives, CHTA has become over time the recognized representative of the Caribbean hospitality industry, as well as THE private sector developmental partner by international agencies active in the region, such as the European Union, the InterAmerican Development Bank, the Organization of American States, and the United States Agency for International Development.
2020 – 2021 Pablo Torres, Puerto Rico
2018 – 2020 Patricia Affonso-Dass, Barbados
2015 – 2018 Karolin Troubetzkoy, St. Lucia
2014 – 2015 Emil Lee, St. Maarten
2012 – 2014 Richard Doumeng, USVI
2010 –2012 Josef Forstmayr, Jamaica
2008 – 2010 Enrique de Marchena Kaluche, Dominican Republic
2006 – 2008 Peter Odle, Barbados
2004 – 2006 Senator Berthia M. Parle, MBE, St. Lucia
2002 – 2004 Simón B. Suárez, Dominican Republic
2000 – 2002 Ralph Taylor, Barbados
1998 – 2000 Edward Malone, Aruba
1996 – 1998 John Jefferis, Bermuda
1994 – 1996 Sir Royston Hopkin, KCMG, Grenada
1992 – 1994 Michael Williams, Bahamas
1990 – 1992 Chris Sharpless, USVI
1988 – 1990 Alfred Taylor, Barbados
1986 – 1988 Ed Sheerin, Antigua
1984 – 1986 Heinz Simonitsch, Jamaica
1982 – 1984 George Myers, Bahamas
1980 – 1982 Howard Hulford, Antigua
1980 Tony Mack, BVI
1978 – 1980 Martin Donawa, Barbados
1976 – 1978 Anders Wiberg, Bahamas
1974 – 1976 Jack Gold, Jamaica
1972 – 1974 Jim Pepperdine, USVI
1970 – 1972 Earl Smith, Barbados
1965 – 1970 Osmund Kelsick, Antigua
1964 – 1965 Henry Steeber, Aruba
1962 – 1964 George Cummings, Puerto Rico