MIAMI (Dec. 1, 2016)—The Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association is aiming to deliver high quality, affordable training support to its members with a renewed emphasis on “people development.”

CHTA President Karolin Troubetzkoy announced the creation of a “people development” initiative aimed at building upon successful educational programs.

At the heart of the new direction is the recent signing of a Memorandum of Understanding with Springboard Caribbean to increase the region’s competitiveness while creating new opportunities for Caribbean people in the world’s most resilient industry.

“The Caribbean’s future is not just about sun, sand and sea,” said Troubetzkoy. “It’s also the warmth, hospitality and professionalism of our people, which continues to attract visitors to our shores.”

The St. Lucia hotelier believes the region is standing on a solid foundation. “But we are in danger of losing our competitive edge as more areas of the world aggressively invest in their people and provide elevated levels of service,” she said.

The new initiative and the partnership with Springboard Caribbean are part of the CHTA’s strategic plan to advance the region’s bread and butter tourism industry.

CHTA’s People Development initiative is chaired by Third Vice President Patricia Affonso-Das, group general manager at Ocean Hotels in Barbados. Working with the CHTA staff and other volunteers, one of her first tasks is to guide the implementation of the new strategic education partnership.

Springboard Caribbean, in partnership with a number of international accreditation bodies, has a proven track record of providing certificated services to leading Caribbean hotels and the cruise industry.

Springboard Caribbean’s partnership with the internationally recognized Institute of Hospitality provides an opportunity for Caribbean hospitality employees to receive world-class training and professional recognition, based on their experience and evidence of continuous professional development.

“CHTA has been working with Springboard Caribbean in recent months leading to the development of this MOU,” said CHTA’s CEO Frank Comito, who noted that Springboard Caribbean facilitated a leadership development workshop for supervisors and managers that was well-received at the Caribbean Hotel Industry Exchange Forum, held in San Juan this past September.

Under the new agreement, Springboard Caribbean will provide CHTA members with professional development services in leadership, management, supervisory, line and entry-level training and development. They will also launch a series of Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points certification workshops and food safety training workshops.

Springboard’s Professional Development System courses will be delivered online through the Springboard Caribbean Online website, hosted on an industry standard learning management system; face-to-face workshops at the client’s business location; and a blended approach, involving a combination of both delivery methods.

Participants in the training will be challenged to meet global standards of excellence, and graduates will be awarded certificates and, in some programs, internationally recognized certifications.

Comito said these initiatives help to build upon CHTA’s existing education and training activities, including the CHTA Education Foundation, through which more than 40 Caribbean nationals are presently receiving financial support. CHTA has also put in place extensive training and professional development programs in three of its major regional events this year, with more than 600 participants attending various training sessions.