It’s time for an urgent investment in the next generation of Caribbean travel and tourism leaders to elevate service standards within the region, according to Jerry Inzerillo, CEO of Forbes Travel Guide.
“We have the soul to do it– this region has soul and that is a bankable commodity, more than the beautiful turquoise waters,” he told the audience at the recent Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association Hospitality Industry Exchange Forum in Puerto Rico.
“Importing is not an excuse,” he said, underscoring the importance of training local workers. “It is our obligation to develop our own people and talent.”
Inzerillo, whose 50-year journey in the hospitality industry has taken him from busboy to chief executive, said tourism is “the single, great ambassador of humanity in the world because it celebrates all the stuff that’s in our soul.”
“It is not growing incrementally, it is exploding,” he said. “We are in the right place at the right time. What is going to happen in travel in the next five years is breathtaking.”
Inzerillo also spoke to the challenges of running a tourism entity today, citing low margins, increased competition, the development of human resources and a diversity of other issues.
— Dana Niland