James Hepple currently serves as President and CEO of the Aruba Hotel and Tourism Association (AHATA) based in Oranjestad, Aruba having been appointed in 2009.
He began his career in 1973 with the English Tourist Board in London, England and subsequently with the East Midlands Tourist Board in Lincoln, England.
He moved to Canada in 1976 and joined Pannell Kerr Forster as a consultant working on many hotel related studies. In 1979 he joined Thorne Stevenson & Kellogg, as Senior Consultant where he was responsible for numerous tourism marketing and feasibility assignments.
In 1983 he was appointed Planning and Research Consultant to The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism, Nassau, The Bahamas with responsibility for all marketing research, analysis and planning for that organization.
Between 1989 and 1991 he was with Trusthouse Forte Hotels, first as Director of Sales and Marketing for the Caribbean and Bermuda, and then as Director of Marketing – North America, based in New York, USA.
After returning to Nassau in 1991 Dr. Hepple acted as marketing consultant to The Bahamas Agricultural and Industrial Corporation and rejoined The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism in 1993 as Director of Planning and Information Management. In 1995 he was appointed Deputy Director General.
In 2001 he was appointed Executive Director of the Curaçao Tourist Board, based in Willemstad, Curaçao where he was directly responsible for all elements of marketing the island of Curaçao as a tourist destination and for the day to day management of the Tourist Board.
In 2005 Mr. Hepple was appointed Director of Tourism and President of the Tourism Development Company of Trinidad and Tobago, based in Port of Spain Trinidad.
In 2007 he was appointed as Marketing Consultant to the Chairman and Board of Directors of the Saint Lucia Tourist Board, based in Castries, Saint Lucia.
In 2012 he was appointed to the Board of Directors of the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association and continues to serve as the Association’s Treasurer.
Although he is a Canadian citizen he was born in Hexham, England in 1949 and holds a PhD in Economic Geography and a First Class Honours BA degree in Geography, both from the University of Hull, Yorkshire, England.