A new call for tourism
By Dana Niland
The Caribbean must keep refreshing its tourism product in order to ensure its people continue to benefit from the revenue generated by the industry, according to one regional tourism leader.
Karolin Troubetzkoy, who owns and operates Anse Chastanet and Jade Mountain of St. Lucia, is the First Vice President and President-elect of the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association.
“Tourism is by far the biggest sector of our economies in the Caribbean and we ought to ensure our hotels and other visitor facilities continue to improve because our people rely on revenue from the sector for education, health, culture and environmental conservation,” she said.
“We cannot rest on our laurels because the global tourism market is growing rapidly and many countries are actively competing with us for the new business.”
Troubetzkoy addressed this weekend’s first-ever Caribbean Hospitality Industry Exchange Forum (CHIEF), which she said has identified three essential areas of priority for the region: operations, sales and marketing, and the need to go green.
“The personal touch is one of the most important elements. A tourist who connects positively, even on a perfunctory level, with at least one staff member, has a very high chance of returning,” she said.
She noted that the Caribbean is a maturing market and therefore it is important that the industry utilizes data collection to dive into new markets, and works to sustainably refurbish and renovate its hotels and resorts.
Troubetzkoy also said it is important for members of the tourism industry to ask, “Are we delivering the Caribbean dream and are we maximizing the guest experience to increase repeat visitation?”