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Tourism Matters: An incredibly hard act to follow

adrian_loveridge4By Adrian Loveridge From Caribbean News Now

As Sue Springer prepares to demit her post as chief executive officer at the Barbados Hotel and Tourism Association, I would like to dedicate this week’s column to her amazing contribution to tourism over several decades and around 15 years in her current position.

Frankly, I have marvelled at her incredible ability to juggle with egos the size of elephants and the sadly inevitable political interference.

Few can question the dedication, patience, personal and family sacrifice, together with the hours she has committed to our main industry trade body while trying to balance the myriad of vested and diverse interests within its membership.

From my own personal perspective, I will always be eternally grateful for the support and encouragement she has given us over many years with several initiatives we have driven, including the re-DISCOVER the Caribbean Show and current re-DISCOVER Barbados restaurant promotion with its re-DISCOVER REWARDS incentive offshoot.

Perhaps many out there are not aware of her background and broad depth of experience within the industry, so I will use the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association profile on Sue, to detail her long career.

“Veteran hotelier of some thirty years, member of the Hotel Catering Institute and Management Association (HCIMA), Mrs. Springer holds a Master of Science in Tourism and Hospitality Management. She commenced her career in London, England, at the Waldorf Hotel and then worked in Bahrain and Guyana. She moved to Barbados to take up the position of Training manager at Sandy Lane Hotel, and later managed Discovery Bay, Colony Club and Tamarind Cove Hotels, she then became Operations Manager at Almond Beach Village. Sue also opened and managed Turtle Beach Resort. She lectured at Guildford and Plymouth College of Technology in England, in various disciplines including front office, housekeeping, sales and marketing and also lectured in Barbados at the Barbados Community College Hospitality Institute. She sits on several statutory bodies and is a board member of Tourism Development Corporation (TDC) and Barbados Conference Services Ltd (BCSL) and the newly formed Barbados Tourism Product Authority (BTPA). In addition, she was a member of the Technical Vocational Education & Training Council (TVET) and hospital lead body for National Vocational Qualifications (NVQ’s). Sue is past President of the Barbados Hotel and Tourism Association and is currently Chief Executive Officer of the Association, a position she has held for the past 14 years. She was also the President of the Caribbean Society of Hotel Association Executives (CSHAE) for four years.”

It is an incredibly hard act to follow, but I sincerely wish the new chief executive officer, former Senator Rudy Grant, all the very best in his new position. We can only hope that the entire industry will support his efforts and put any hints about partisan politics aside in the interests of all.

To finish with an enormous thank you to Sue, for her unswerving impartial dedication to the entire industry. All of us in tourism owe you a massive debt of gratitude and wish you every possible success in the next chapter of your life.

IMAGE: Adrian Loveridge has spent 46 years in the tourism industry across 67 countries, as a travel agent, tour director, tour operator and for the last 24 years as a small hotel owner on Barbados. He served as a director of the Barbados Hotel and Tourism Association, and as chairman of the Marketing Committee. He also served as a director of the Barbados Tourism Authority and is a frequent writer on tourism


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