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 this year.
On the heels of a strong outcome at the annual New York Times Travel Show fundraising drive, for which CHTA member hotels and resorts generously donated hotel stays for auction, CHTAEF officials report that they are getting ready to roll out professional development and training programs and award scholarships for current and future tourism professionals.
Reflecting on its activities last year, CHTAEF Chairperson Karolin Troubetzkoy reported that the foundation reached more than 750 hospitality professionals in Barbados, Grenada, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Maarten and Tobago through its on-island training courses.
In 2018, the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association Education Foundation’s Board of Trustees decided to offer more training opportunities in the region in support of 33 national hotel and tourism associations. The decision to go beyond awarding individual scholarships came with the realization that on-island training would reach more Caribbean tourism industry professionals and assist them in adapting to the ever-changing needs and expectations of global travelers.
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 and 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 and Wales University, Les Roches, Lynn University, Monroe College, University of Aruba, University of the Virgin Islands, University of the West Indies, and the Vatel Hotel & Tourism Business School.
One of the Foundation’s 2019 highlights was linking a partnership with the highly regarded Les Roches Global Hospitality Education in Switzerland, allowing deserving Caribbean students to be trained at the elite institution.