SLHTA has new Prez!

New SLHTA president Karolin Trobetzkoy. (photo: kirkelliot.com)

The St Lucia Hotel and Tourism Association (SLHTA), the largest private sector organization on the island, held its 47th Annual General Meeting on Wednesday 2nd March 2011, under the theme “Joining Hands for Recovery and Renewal.”
The meeting took place at the Royal by Rex Resort in two separate sessions with over 100 members and invited guests in attendance.  Major sponsors for the event were LIME, Barons Shipping & Brokerage Inc and the Royal by Rex Resort.
The closed session, which was attended exclusively by SLHTA members, witnessed the presentation of the President’s Report and the tabling and approval of the Association’s Audited Financial Statements for the previous financial year.  This preceded a presentation on global developments and key performance indicators in the international and regional tourism markets by Ms Brittany Baldwin of Smith Travel Research, the leading hospitality research institution in the USA.
Additionally, Mr George deMercado, the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association’s (CHTA) Manager Membership Development, made a presentation on the benefits of CHTA membership, followed by a brief outlook from Mr Louis Lewis, St Lucia’s Director of Tourism on the performance of the sector for the year 2011 and onwards.
The highlight of the closed session was the election of a new Board of Directors for the 2011- 2013 term where Mrs Karolin Troubetzkoy, Director of Marketing & Operations of Anse Chastanet / Jade Mountain, was unanimously elected President of the SLHTA.
Other newly elected members of the SLHTA’s Board of Directors included:  1st Vice President: Mr Ross Stevenson of Cap Maison; 2nd Vice President: Mr Daniel Belizaire of Hospitality Management Services (HMS) and several other posts.
The open session was held at the Rex’s L’Epicure restaurant with a feature address delivered by Mr Alec Sanguinetti, Director General and CEO of CHTA. Mr Sanguinetti, who is a veteran of the Caribbean tourism industry with almost five decades of experience in both private and public sectors, alerted the audience to some of the major concerns and impending threats to the regional tourism sector’s continued viability and lamented the seeming indifference of CARICOM Heads of Government to the sector’s significance, as evidenced by the complete absence of any reference to tourism in the Communiqué from the recent CARICOM Intercessional Heads of Government Conference in Grenada.
Mrs Karolin Troubetzkoy, the newly elected president of the Association also gave a few brief remarks to the gathering, wherein she outlined some of the key issues, challenges and expected outcomes that would define her presidency.  Among those expectations were a further strengthening of the working relationship with the St Lucia Tourist Board, better use of social media for communication among the SLHTA membership and an interactive and constructive exchange with stakeholders in regard to tourism policy formulation and marketing.

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