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CHTA: the Caribbean’s University without Walls

On June 2nd, respected Caribbean hotelier Sir Royston Hopkin KCMG was the keynote speaker for the Opening Ceremony of the Caribbean Hospitality Industry Exchange Forum (CHIEF) and Taste of the Caribbean.

A successful businessman well known for his pursuit of excellence throughout his long and illustrious career, Sir Royston emphasised throughout his speech the paramount importance of lifelong learning.

Sir Royston’s sentiment regarding education was echoed by Forbes Travel Guide’s CEO Gerard “Jerry” Inzerillo during his 2016 keynote address at CHIEF in Puerto Rico. Both industry leaders concur that our investment in human capital is a primal need all industries must meet to succeed, in particular in times of change and turmoil.

Sir Royston described growing up as a child helping his parents operate a small guest house as the basis for his understanding of hospitality. He credits his involvement with CHTA for broadening his knowledge of the industry, building lifelong professional relationships and friendships and leading to the success of his award-winning Spice Island Beach Resort in Grenada.

Describing the CHTA as “the university without walls for us Caribbean people – and that includes all of the emerging leaders,” Sir Royston called for more tourism stakeholders to become actively engaged with the organization. He encouraged participants to leverage CHTA’s educational opportunities to “exercise the power of excellence” in their work. “Working all day is a pleasure if you have the passion for excellence,” he said, speaking about the industry to which he has dedicated his entire professional career.


CHTA has now more learning tools and programs than ever before, online and offline.

  • Every CHTA signature event (Caribbean Travel Marketplace, CHIEF and Taste of the Caribbean) includes a professional development component and the opportunity for peer-to-peer learning, as well as awards and recognition programs to showcase those that hold us up to a high standard by exemplifying Caribbean excellence. Trainings and workshops are made available for members through partnerships with such prestigious organizations such as Florida International University, Johnson & Wales University, Forbes Travel Guide, Springboard Caribbean, Mastercard, STR, ADARA, CTO and WTTC. CLICK HERE to learn more about upcoming CHTA events.
  • Educational Webinars – To encourage a free flow of information, ideas and member-to-member engagement, CHTA has developed a series of webinars throughout the calendar year on a variety of topics impacting the Caribbean hospitality industry. Some topics include sustainability, sales and marketing, operations, Zika, Brexit and its impact on the Caribbean and more. CLICK HERE to view a listing of past CHTA webinars.
  • Springboard Caribbean Training Programs – In order to promote and provide ongoing professional development for employees at all levels within the Caribbean hospitality industry, CHTA signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Springboard Caribbean. Springboard’s Professional Development System courses will be delivered online through the Springboard Caribbean Online website, hosted on an industry standard learning management system; face-to-face workshops at the client’s business location; and a blended approach, involving a combination of both delivery methods. CLICK HERE to get more information on currently offered courses.
  • People Development Committee – this new committee aims at building upon successful educational programs and part of CHTA’s strategic plan to advance the region’s bread and butter tourism industry. CHTA’s People Development initiative is chaired by President Elect Patricia Affonso-Dass, Group General Manager at Ocean Hotels in Barbados.
  • CHTA Education Foundation continues to grow its scholarship program providing special assistance for the education of Caribbean tourism industry personnel and students pursuing tourism & hospitality careers.


CHIEF Awards 2017: A Spotlight on Best Practices in the Caribbean
Taste of the Caribbean 2017 Winners
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