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CHTA Call for Investments in Women in Hospitality on International Women’s Day

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (March 8, 2024) – On the occasion of International Women’s Day, the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA) is celebrating the indispensable role of women in the hospitality industry and advocating the critical importance of female leadership and participation. The association calls upon stakeholders in the Caribbean hospitality industry’s public and private sectors to continue to join forces to advance gender inclusion and equality.

In response to this year’s theme, “Invest in Women: Accelerate Progress”, CHTA President Nicola Madden-Greig, who also serves as the Group Director of Marketing & Sales for The Courtleigh Hospitality Group in Jamaica, is reinforcing the association’s commitment to nurturing the next generation of female leaders. Initiatives such as the CHTA’s Young Leaders Forum are pivotal in offering young professionals from across the region opportunities for growth and development. “With 19 out of 23 participants being female, this program plays a crucial role in inspiring and empowering the next generation of women leaders,” Madden-Greig remarked.

Nicola Madden-Greig, OD, CHTA President, at the Caribbean Resort and Hotel Investment Conference.
CHTA President Nicola Madden-Greig, OD

She further advocated expanding such initiatives throughout the Caribbean to cultivate a more equitable and diverse leadership landscape in the tourism and hospitality industry. “To truly accelerate progress, we must enhance support for the development of women, especially female entrepreneurs,” she added.

Vanessa Ledesma, acting CEO and Director General of CHTA, shared her journey as a female leader in the hospitality industry and the influence of incredible female leaders: “I’m proud to witness the remarkable female representation in our industry and within CHTA. However, there’s still a long way to go as we encourage others to pursue their passions for Caribbean hospitality.”

CHTA Acting CEO and Director General Vanessa Ledesma, posing in front of a tree and flower background.
CHTA Acting CEO and Director General Vanessa Ledesma

CHTA, as an organization going into its 62nd year, has a recent history of female leadership, with four of the past five CHTA presidents being women and numerous national hotel and tourism associations being led by women. In addition to Madden-Greig and Ledesma, the CHTA features a notable roster of female leaders, including past presidents Patricia Affonso-Dass, based in Barbados; St. Lucia’s Karolin Troubetzkoy and Berthia Parle; Karen Whitt, Regional Vice President based in Turks and Caicos; Paola Rainieri, 4th Vice President based in the Dominican Republic; and Lisa Hamilton, Caribbean Society of Hotel Association Executives (CSHAE) President based in the U.S. Virgin Islands.

By emphasizing the importance of investing in women within the hospitality sector, CHTA continues to champion gender equality and women’s empowerment, paving the way for a more inclusive and prosperous industry.

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