CHTA recognizes resilience and excellence in Caribbean tourism

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The awards recognize the practices that CHTA member hotels, companies and destinations have adopted to respond to new needs in the sector.

CHTA introduced its new Destination Resilience Awards, which were conceived during the COVID-19 pandemic, in recognition of destinations that used innovative, unique and timely responses to the global public health crisis that led to recovery and maintenance. of lives and livelihoods. The award considered internal and external efforts to mitigate the effects of the pandemic on the local tourism industry. For evaluation purposes, destinations were categorized by annual operating budgets.

This year’s CHIEF Awards recognize the successful practices that CHTA member hotels and tourism-related businesses have adopted in the areas of business operations, environmental sustainability, human resources and staffing, and sales and marketing in the aftermath. to the pandemic. Due to COVID-19, the CHIEF Awards ceremony has not been held since 2019.

Destination Resilience Awards
In the category of largest tourist destination, Aruba was a winner of Destination Resilience, being recognized for its “heart, soul and diligence in restoring the life blood of the island”. For Aruba, innovation “paved the way for restoration, recalibration and revision” through initiatives such as the implementation of the Aruba Health and Happiness Code and pioneering collaboration with Ok2Roam.
First Runner-up Jamaica was applauded for introducing the JAMAICA CARES program and successfully positioning Jamaica at the forefront of international tourism recovery by ensuring close cross-sector collaboration, launching a vaccination campaign and leveraging essential resources such as the Crisis Management Center and Resilience of Global Tourism.

For destinations with smaller annual operating budgets, Grenada received top honors in resiliency. The Grenada Hotel and Tourism Association and the Grenada Tourism Authority partnered and strategized with the Grenada Ministry of Health to create infection control protocols serving a variety of sectors, from hospitality to restaurants, taxis and travel services. Through many effective public-private partnerships, quarantine solutions and technology solutions were developed that laid the groundwork for the eventual recovery of the destination.

Nevis was recognized as the first runner-up in the category for its efforts to maintain the wellness of the tourism and hospitality industry through training and support, internal and external partnerships, adoption of virtual events, and overall management and recovery. of destiny.
Paul Collymore, general manager of The Landings Resort & Spa (center), receives the CHIEF Business Operations Award. Also pictured (from left) are: CHTA Interim CEO and CEO Vanessa Ledesma, CHTA President Nicola Madden-Greig, Chukka Caribbean Adventures Resort Manager Marsha Morris, and Bill Clegg, 5th Vice President of CHTA.

CHEF Awards
The first place CHIEF award in the Business Operations category went to The Landings Resort & Spa in St. Lucia in recognition of its successful commitment to halt all capital expenditures while maintaining 80 employees on staff to maintain the resort, redesign menus and make sure the right leaders were in place to pivot through the tough times. The first runner-up, Tranquility Beach Anguilla Resort, bubbled Meads Bay for safety and security, and their efforts were widely publicized in consumer and trade magazines. There was a tie for second runner-up between the Antigua & Barbuda Hotel & Tourism Association, which supported industry employees with the Thrift fund and developed destination protocols, and The Chancellor Hotel in Trinidad, which created new training programs and focused on retain staff through the pandemic.

Half Moon in Jamaica has received the CHIEF Award for Best Practices in Environmental Sustainability. The renowned property initiated a farm-to-table project designed to combine self-sustainability with dining to enhance guest stays and retained 25 acres of wetlands for hawksbill habitat. In addition, they stepped up their aggressive cardboard, plastic, and greywater programs. The first runner-up award went to Wagstaff Media and Marketing, on behalf of Baha Mar, which contracted with the Baha Mar Resort Foundation to focus on important issues such as disaster recovery, environmental awareness, youth development, cultural support and community contribution.

Grace Bay Car Rentals and Sales ranked first for human resources and staffing. The company demonstrated a superior and innovative commitment to its team, keeping all staff on even when business stopped, supporting Turks and Caicos through food bank initiatives, and training staff on professional and personal topics. The first runner-up went to Half Moon, which implemented new technologies to provide access and transparency to its human resources processes and promoted a healthy work-life balance. Wagstaff Media and Marketing, on behalf of Baha Mar, was tagged as the runner-up in the category. The resort implemented a Commitment to Wellness program, ongoing pay and benefits for nearly 6,000 non-essential staff members who were furloughed until the resort reopened in late 2020.

Top honors for best practices in sales and marketing went to Aruba’s Bucuti & Tara Beach Resort, which acted aggressively to drive demand and fare as travel returned. The property employed several policies, including reinstating its 30-day cancellation period and a commitment to travel professionals of no rate increases in 2022 that contributed to a strong rebound. St. Lucia’s Bay Gardens Resorts was the first runner-up in this category for its flexible and agile practices, including free COVID-19 testing, relaxed cancellation policies, and integration of a live chat feature on its website. Second runner-up went to Oceanid Hospitality Group LLC, which drove The Landings turnaround results through a comprehensive solution for global sales, revenue, distribution, marketing, public relations and social media.

A panel of judges representing the top industry professionals in their respective fields reviewed all nominations and made their selections. Forty-five nominations from 18 countries were submitted to CHTA and subsequently endorsed by the respective national hotel and tourism associations before they were presented to the judging panel.