CORAL GABLES, Florida — Building on the success of its 2019 training initiatives, the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association Education Foundation (CHTAEF) is planning to expand its hospitality training programs and scholarship support in the Caribbean in 2020.
The annual New York Times Travel Show fundraising drive saw strong support, for which CHTA member hotels and resorts generously donated stays for auction.
Officials report that they can now prepare to roll out professional development and training programs and award scholarships for current and future tourism professionals.
According to CHTAEF Chairperson Karolin Troubetzkoy, the foundation reached more than 750 hospitality professionals in Barbados, Grenada, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, Sint Maarten and Tobago through its on-island training courses.
“The feedback from our colleagues who participated in these trainings was phenomenal, and we look forward to delivering more training in other destinations in 2020,” Troubetzkoy, of St. Lucia, said.
The realization that on-island training would reach more Caribbean tourism industry professionals and assist them in adapting to the needs and expectations of global travelers prompted the decision to go beyond awarding individual scholarships.
In 2018, CHTAEF’s board of trustees decided to offer more training opportunities in the region in support of 33 national hotel and tourism associations.
Following the launch of a pilot program in 2018 and the subsequent on-island training delivered throughout 2019, property managers reported that they noticed changes in the way many of their team members interacted with guests, displaying more empathy and compassion, which resulted in increased satisfaction scores from visitors.
In 2019, CHTAEF also awarded 20 scholarships to students from Anguilla, Aruba, The Bahamas, Barbados, British Virgin Islands, Grenada, Jamaica, St. Lucia, Trinidad & Tobago, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Troubetzkoy noted that scholarship benefactors are gaining hospitality knowledge, training and skills at some of the most prestigious institutions around the globe, including College of Mount Saint Vincent, Cornell University, The Culinary Institute of America, Edinburgh Napier University, Johnson & Wales University, Les Roches, Lynn University, Monroe College, University of Aruba, University of the Virgin Islands, University of the West Indies, Vatel Hotel & Tourism Business School and Les Roches Global Hospitality Education in Switzerland.