January 31, 2023


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From Bevan Springer

MAY 23, 2022
Leaders upbeat about tourism sector
Caribbean tourism leaders had a spirited discussion at the Caribbean Hotel & Resort Investment Summit (CHRIS) in Florida last week about how their nations and territories survived the pandemic and their plans to woo investors in the future. We summarize the discussion below.
From left: Ernest Hilaire, St. Lucia’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Tourism, Investment, Creative Industries, Culture and Information; Erwin Saunders, Turk and Caicos Deputy Premier and Minister of Finance, Trade and Investment; Moderator Vanessa Ledesma, Acting CEO and Director General of the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA); and Joseph Boschulte, USVI Commissioner of Tourism.Minister Ernest Hilaire, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Tourism, Investment, Creative Industries, Culture and Information, St. Lucia

Need to construct a tourism industry that is sustainable with citizens and communities driving and promoting authentic experiences for visitors; communities must benefit 

In April, St. Lucia’s arrivals from the U.S. increased by 12% compared with April 2019; U.K. arrivals are up similarly by 14%

The ease of doing business must be clearly established 

Greater, transparent communication between governments and investment community is important

With global supply chain issues, increasing local linkages and addressing issues of dependence on imports and fossil fuels is key 

Need to build resilience, greater adaptation and more mitigation Training is key

Minister Erwin Saunders, Deputy Premier and Minister of Finance, Trade and Investment, Turks and Caicos

TCI is among the top 5 tourism-dependent countries in the world

The consumer is king and the tourist is king; improving customer service is key 

Long-term plans to replace airport – to be the best in the region

Ministers should be available to help drive home investment deals

Governments should not overtax tourism; win-win relationships are important; governments should be lean and efficientThe private sector is our partner; working together is critical“

We are going to best our best.

Commissioner Joseph Boschulte, U.S. Virgin Islands Department of Tourism

Sixty percent of GDP is based on tourism

USVI fine-tuned tourism strategy during the COVID period with a focus on overnight visitors

Cruise tourism is returning; both sectors will work well once managed efficiently

Managing expectations and understanding local government policies and culture are key for investors

The realities of a successful product are predicated on a strong infrastructure

The Caribbean’s resilience during the pandemic was admirable

Working with Caribbean destinations can be a catalyst for growth within the region
Tourism legend John Bell receives coveted Lifetime Achievement Award at CHRIS
From left: Jeff Higley, President of The BHN Group, the organizers of CHRIS; former CHTA chief executive Alec Sanguinetti; and Vanessa Ledesma, CHTA’s Acting CEO and Director General, saluted their colleague John Bell (inset) in Florida last week.
In a fitting tribute to an industry icon, organizers of the Caribbean Hotel & Resort Investment Summit (CHRIS) bestowed upon John

Bell the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award

Bell launched a Caribbean investment conference (the precursor to CHRIS) that was instrumental in driving the region’s strong investment growth over the past several decades

Bell managed hotel properties in St. Vincent and Trinidad

The veteran tourism executive was named the first CEO of the Caribbean Hotel Association (CHA) in 1974

Bell served as President of the Paris-based International Hotel and Restaurant Association (IH&RA) 

Former CHTA CEO and Director General Alec Sanguinetti accepted the award on behalf of Bell
MPE on the Move
The Marketplace Excellence (MPE) team of President Bevan Springer (right) and Vice President – Operations Greta Andzenge (center), pictured here with Bill Clegg, Regional Director, Franchise Development, Best Western Hotels & Resorts, attended CHRIS in Hollywood, Florida last week where stakeholders gathered for two days of meetings and networking as they explored tourism investment challenges and opportunities.
Park Hyatt St. Kitts welcomes new GM
Richard Elliott.JPG
Richard Elliott, General Manager, Park Hyatt St. Kitts
Veteran hotelier Richard Elliott has been appointed General Manager of Park Hyatt St. Kitts

Elliott will oversee the resort’s operations, including its 126 guest rooms and suites, five restaurants and bars, and 7,000 square feet of event space 

Elliott’s Hyatt career spans 17 years, and he has held leadership positions with properties across four brands, including Hyatt Centric, Hyatt Regency, Grand Hyatt and Andaz

Most recently, he was the General Manager of the Hyatt Centric Waikiki Beach, where he drove RevPAR growth and enhanced sustainability initiatives and programming 

Park Hyatt St. Kitts is set within Christophe Harbor on Banana Bay with unobstructed views of the Caribbean Sea and neighboring Nevis
How to maintain your website 
Creating a compelling website to communicate your brand is only the start. Keeping it updated and maintained is equally important but often overlooked.

Here’s your monthly checklist for healthy website maintenance: 

Hosting Maintenance is the starting point. Tasks include server health checks, technology updates, and website syncing. 

Domain Maintenance refers to the upkeep of the web address of your site. It includes the most critical maintenance tasks: downtime management and recovery. It also includes looking after all sub-domains that are associated with the master domain and keeping an updated financial record for the subscription.

Security Maintenance tasks should be considered a top priority due to rising security threats. These include Secure Socket Layer (SSL) management, which is the standard technology for creating a secure connection, and upgrading all security plug-ins or custom-developed security firewalls running on the property. Running routine scans and checks for a security breach is essential.

Monthly Backup tasks include securing a backup of the web property. The most recent and healthy version of the site should be used to create the backup. 

Database Management tasks include an overall health check of the website database, checking for errors, clearing up disk space, and removing redundant dump files

Speed & Responsiveness tasks include optimizing the site load time, checking for unused scripts, updating code, and constant monitoring of website responsive performance on different devices along with browser updates

Content update tasks should be performed monthly to refresh the content and information on the website
Medical Moment – World Hypertension Day 2022
“Measure your blood pressure, control it, live longer”

Earlier this month (May 17), World Hypertension Day was in the spotlight, promoting high blood pressure (hypertension) prevention and early detection

It is estimated that more than 1 billion people worldwide live with high blood pressure, a major cause of cardiovascular disease and premature death 

In order to reduce new and existing cases of high blood pressure by 25% by 2025, the World Health Organization and the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention launched the Global Hearts Initiative in 2016 and recommend the following strategies: 
Manage cardiovascular disease
Control tobacco useIncrease physical activity
Reduce salt consumption
Eliminate trans fat 
MPE Caribbean Report
MPE Caribbean Report recently chatted with the new head of Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc. about the power of festival tourism, including the return of Crop Over this summer.

Click below to watch.

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