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July 29, 2008
  • CHTA opens to all tourism business
  • New CHTA officers
  • Tourism seeks to attract US Midwest
  • Asonahores 22nd Trade Show
CHTA opens to all tourism business
Former president of the National Association of Hotels & Restaurants, lawyer Enrique de Marchena presides over the new Caribbean Hotel & Tourism Association that seeks to accommodate the needs of non-hotel members in the tourism sector. CHTA is born when regional tourism executives saw the need to expand the Caribbean Hotel Association. At the same time, CHTA has re-structured the organization both operationally and financially and the result is also a stronger association serving the interest of the hospitality industry in the Caribbean.
"This will be a way to show to our governments, public and private multilateral institutions, and all players in the tourism sector that CHTA has a broader span of representation of industry partners and therefore plays a major significant role in the Caribbean," said Enrique De Marchena Kaluche, newly inaugurated president of CHTA for 2008-2010. De Marchena spoke after the formal start of operations of the new entity, in Miami, Florida on 22 July.
Moving forward as the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association, the reformed and the renamed organization will now enable membership for all tourism industry stakeholders such as commercial establishments, restaurants, attractions, shops, artisans and others. "Tourism means business for all residents on our islands and we need to create a better understanding of this within our own communities," De Marchena said.
Peter Odle, now Chairman of CHTA said: "If we are to remain the world traveler's most sought after warm weather vacation destination, all of us in the tourism and hospitality industry including hotels, governments, restaurants, taxi associations, crafts markets, shopkeepers and even the cruise lines are going to have to work together in an atmosphere where cooperation is a way of life, not merely a watchword."
New CHTA officers
Three Dominicans are on the board of the Caribbean Hotel & Tourism Association (CHTA). Dominican lawyer Enrique de Marchena Kaluche will preside the organization from 2008-2010. Other Dominican officers elected to the board of directors are fourth vice president, Haydee Rainieri, and Reyson Pimentel, regional vice president.
The elected officers are:
President -- Enrique de Marchena Kaluche, Dominican Republic Hotel Association
First Vice President -- Richard Doumeng, U.S. Virgin Islands Hotel & Tourism Association
Second Vice President -- Josef Forstmayr, Jamaica Hotel & Tourist Association
Third Vice President -- Sherille Hughes, Anguilla Hotel & Tourism Association
Fourth Vice President -- Haydee Rainieri, National Association of Hotels & Restaurants, Dominican Republic
Fifth Vice President -- Willem Jonckheer, Curacao Hospitality & Tourism Association
Treasurer -- Jag Mehta, Jamaica Hotel & Tourist Association
In addition, Immediate Past President, Peter J. Odle, is now the Chairman of CHTA. In addition to the elected officers and in keeping with the CHTA Articles of Association, the President appointed the following members to serve as Regional Vice Presidents: John Lynch, Sandals & Beaches Resort, Jamaica; Romney Penn, Hodge's Creek Marina Hotel, BVI; Reyson Pimentel, BlueBay Villas Cerradas, Dominican Republic; Bill Clegg, Choice Hotels International, United States; and Kevin M. Kenny, Angostura Limited, Trinidad and Tobago.
Tourism seeks to attract US Midwest
The Ministry of Tourism and its Chicago Tourism Office is working hard to lure more tourists from the Midwest and the West of the US to the DR. Patricia Perez, director of the Chicago office, said staff members have been visiting travel businesses in Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin to promote travel to the DR. Likewise, the effort targets potential tourists that live in Indianapolis, Seattle, Portland, Detroit, Minneapolis and St. Louis.
The focus is on telling the tourists and educating the travel agents and tour operators about the less popular destinations, such as Puerto Plata, Santo Domingo and La Romana, while seeking to maintain the interest in stronger destinations, such as Punta Cana.
The Chicago tourism office has participated in the touring Chicago Tribune's Adventures in Travel Expo and its five presentations targeting travel agents in Chicago, New York, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles and Seattle. Also at 11 special travel events for corporations, incentive groups and travel agency reps in Chicago, as well as the visits to tour operators and airlines.
Perez said the DR will be present at the Incentive Travel and Meeting Executives Show (IT&ME) that opens 23 September in Chicago.
"Chicago is a winter market, so we will intensify our promotional efforts in the second half of the year," said Perez.
Asonahores 22nd Trade Show
The National Association of Hotels & Restaurants (Asonahores), the leading hotel industry trade show, is scheduled for 27 to 30 August at the Dominican Fiesta Hotel. While open to the general public, the trade show primarily seeks to educate and inform tourism companies as to what is available in the market for hotel & restaurant businesses. The 22nd exhibition will be dedicated to the Grupo Popular, in recognition of the bank's leadership in tourism areas and consistent support to the industry.

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