SLHTA reports on Annual General Meeting 2010
Thursday March 3, 2011- - 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 were:
1st Vice President: Mr. Ross Stevenson of Cap Maison
2nd Vice President: Mr. Daniel Belizaire of Hospitality Management Services (HMS)
Representative for Small Properties: Ms. Cheryl Skeete of Habitat Terrace Ltd.
Representative for Large Hotels: Mr. Sanovnik Destang of Bay Gardens Resorts
Representative for High-End Boutique Hotels and Luxury Villas: Mr. Nick Pinnock of Ti Kaye Village
Representative for Independent Restaurants and Food & Beverage Distributors: Mr. Bobo Bergstrom of Eurobbean Foods Ltd (The Fire Grill & Lounge Bar / The Edge Restaurant & Bar)
Representative for Airlines, Travel Consultants, Destination Management Companies and Tour Operators: Ms.
Erwin Louisy of Barefoot Holidays
Representative for Ground Transportation & Cruise Sub-sectors : Mr. Andrew Simon of Garry’s Taxi Services
Representative for the Yachting and Maritime subsector: Mr. Bob Hathaway of The Marina at Marigot Bay
Representative for Utility Companies, Statutory Corporations & other Service Providers: Mr. Roger Joseph of St. Lucia Electrical Services Ltd (LUCELEC)
Representative At Large for Banks, Professionals, Educational/Training Institutions & Other Allied Members: Ms. Agnes Francis of Accela Marketing
The Board is completed by SLHTA Executive Vice-President, Mr. McHale Andrew and Director of Tourism, Mr. Louis Lewis who are both ex-officio members.
The open session was held at the Rex’s L’Epicure restaurant from 12:15 PM where a number of dignitaries including Senator Allen Chastanet, Minister of Tourism & Civil Aviation and members of the Diplomatic Corps were welcomed. The feature address of the afternoon was 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.
The AGM concluded on a celebratory note with an award ceremony, which saw Mrs. Eileen Paul, Mr. Ronald ‘Boo’ Hinkson and Mr. Edward ‘Chef Harry ‘Joseph officially inducted as Honorary Members of the St. Lucia Hotel and Tourism Association for their long, selfless and dedicated service to the SLHTA, the tourism sector and the wider community in St.Lucia. Awards were also presented to Mr. Ross Stevenson, General Manager of Cap Maison and Mr. Mark Grebby former General Manager of the Royal by Rex Resort in appreciation of their outstanding leadership and contribution to the events and activities of the SLHTA.
About the SLHTA: As the principal tourism private sector agency in St. Lucia, the SLHTA is responsible for facilitating tourism sector development and management. The SLHTA is a private non-profit membership organization that functions as the “official organization and national spokesperson” for the hospitality Industry and its wide membership. The SLHTA currently comprises 220 members, (73 Active Hotels and 147 Allied Members) covering a wide segment of the economic spectrum of St. Lucia to include the tourism, retail & wholesale distribution, agriculture and other services sectors. The SLHTA is dedicated to representing, informing, educating and upholding the interests of its membership within the tourism sector, which has earned it the reputation as the “Voice of the Hospitality Industry”. The SLHTA’s declared vision is: “To be the leading catalyst for developing St. Lucia as the best island destination in the world.”
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