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Karolin Troubetzkoy

CHTA shares 'One Caribbean Family' initiative with South Florida Diaspora

Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA) president, Karolin Troubetzkoy, told Caribbean-American residents in South Florida that the response to the trade association's recently launched One Caribbean Family initiative has been extremely encouraging.

The initiative allows hotels across the region to help those who have been adversely affected by Hurricanes Irma and Maria, while also highlighting that more than 70 per cent of Caribbean destinations have not been affected and are ready to welcome visitors as usual.

Speaking earlier this month to veteran Caribbean-American broadcaster Pat Montague on WAVS 1170 AM radio in South Florida, Troubetzkoy, who operates two hotels in St Lucia (Anse Chastanet and Jade Mountain), said that the response to the initiative augurs well for the future of Caribbean unity and cooperation.

"We are very pleased with the response not just by the hotels, but also by large companies like tour operators, travel agents, and travel advisers. Everybody wants to play a role and make a pledge. I love the fact that we are all coming together as a family ... because there's so much that needs to be done right now," she said, adding that in the long term, schools and training institutes would need to be rebuilt and jobs created.

She explained that in the past, when destinations were affected by storms CHTA asked member hotels to provide auction packages, but with the enormity of devastation following the September storms, the association felt that more needed to be done.

TRY TO GIVE BACK

"Those of us that are open for business are going to benefit from business that was meant for other islands, so we should try to give back," she asserted. She encouraged hotels to make a pledge for new bookings, which would go towards the Caribbean Tourism Recovery Fund.

Following the hurricanes, she said, CHTA also realised that much of the world did not really understand the geography of the region, so the association launched www.caribbeantravelupdate.com to convey that more than 70 per cent of the Caribbean was still open for business.

Troubetzkoy believes that it is important to remind travellers that many islands were not in the path of the hurricanes, and are absolutely welcoming tourists. "Visiting the Caribbean is one of the best ways to support our region's economy, especially when we have some countries and territories in the midst of hurricane recovery." The tourism leader wants assistance with helping the world understand that the Caribbean encompasses about a million square miles and more than 7,000 islands.

Troubetzkoy has also called on the Caribbean Diaspora to rally around the One Caribbean Family movement and to continue making contributions to help the region rebound.

Hotels and tourism trade partners interested in participating in the campaign should complete the pledge form at https://chtaforms.weebly.com/one-caribbean-family-form.html. Participating hotels and trade partners will be showcased online and through a public relations and social media campaign.

Donations are tax deductible where applicable and can also be made directly online at www.tourismcares.org/caribbean or by check payable to Caribbean Tourism Recovery Fund c/o Tourism Cares, 20 Vernon St, Norwood, MA 02062, USA, or by donating securities. Questions may be addressed to vanessa@caribbeanhotelandtourism.com

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