FLORIDA, USA, Wednesday June 7, 2017 — Simón Suárez of the Dominican Republic is the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association’s (CHTA) 2017 Caribbean Hotelier of the Year.
Suárez, a former CHTA president, received the honour at the opening of the third annual Caribbean Hospitality Industry Exchange Forum (CHIEF), hosted by the CHTA last weekend in Miami.
In accepting the region’s premier hospitality award, Suárez, Vice President of Institutional Relations and Projects of Grupo Puntacana in the Dominican Republic, reminded delegates to “embrace unity, diversity and ingenuity” in the Caribbean.
According to Frank Comito, director general and CEO of CHTA: “Simón Suárez is a pioneer in Caribbean hospitality. He has played and continues to play a major role in the development and growth of Caribbean tourism, and we are indebted to him for all that he has done for his native Dominican Republic and the Caribbean.”
Also in the winners’ row was Lisa Hamilton of the United States Virgin Islands Hotel and Tourism Association, who bagged the Caribbean Association Executive of the Year Award, while Edward Weitz was named Allied Member of the Year.
O’brian Forde of Jus’ Sail in St Lucia was named Caribbean Employee of the Year, while Marcia Rhoden-Morris of The Jamaica Pegasus picked up the award for Caribbean Supervisor of the Year.
Awards were also presented in the areas of Operations, Sales and Marketing, Social Responsibility and Environmental Sustainability.
The St Lucia Hotel and Tourism Association was the winner in the Operations category, with second place going to Elegant Hotels in Barbados.
The Aruba Tourism Authority captured the best practice in Sales and Marketing title, with The Crane and Elegant Hotels in Barbados filling the second and third slots.
Hyatt Regency Trinidad earned the CHIEF Award for Social Responsibility, while second place went to the St Lucia Hotel and Tourism Association. Bucuti & Tara Beach Resort in Aruba took third place.
Bucuti & Tara Beach Resort was also recognised with the CHIEF Award for Environmental Sustainability, while Ocean Terrace Inn in St Kitts and Elegant Hotels in Barbados tied for second place. CuisinArt Golf Resort and Spa in Anguilla earned third place.