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More Caribbean Professionals Complete Hospitality Training

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MST. MAARTEN (October 14, 2019) – Hundreds of Caribbean tourism professionals are honing their skills in cutting-edge customer service training sessions presented by the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association Education Foundation (CHTAEF). 

The Foundation provides people throughout the region with an awareness of the industry’s varied career options, as well as technical and professional development opportunities for those already in the tourism sector.

Following its successful training sessions in St. Lucia and St. Maarten, CHTAEF’s next round of training is being held in Grenada and Tobago this week.

CHTAEF Chairperson Karolin Troubetzkoy said the workshops recognized the natural hospitality of Caribbean people and how it could be enhanced to meet the changing needs of today’s traveler. The sessions also presented participants with new skills to master as they strive to surpass guest expectations.

With support from the Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF) and the Saint Lucia Hospitality & Tourism Association (SLHTA), CHTAEF assembled over 160 St. Lucian hospitality workers last month to help polish their skills in a series of guest service training sessions, conducted by Louise John and Suzanne Shillingford-Brooks of Talkabout & Earth Solutions.

Dubbed ‘Heartfelt Guest Care to Welcome the World’, the training – launched by CHTAEF in partnership with Virgin Holidays – gave hospitality team members, supervisors, managers and owners the knowledge and the skills needed to best serve a new and diverse generation of customers.

In St. Maarten, with the support of Interval International, individual training workshops were created for professionals working at the front office, the engineering and housekeeping departments, and supervisors.

At the end of the successful training of close to 90 professionals, Troubetzkoy endorsed the need for continuing educational programs for tourism professionals. 

“Our industry is flourishing but there will always be competing forces out there, so it is very important for us to ensure our hospitality workforce is well educated and prepared to ensure the Caribbean region retains its position at the top of the world’s most desirable vacation destinations,” reminded Troubetzkoy. 

She highlighted the importance of sponsors such as Virgin Holidays and Interval International for opening doors not only for many young people but also for hospitality workers already in the industry, who are seeking to further their education and improve their qualifications.

CHTAEF’s partnership with Interval International has introduced sessions to Aruba and St. Maarten, while Virgin Holidays supported training in Barbados and St. Lucia. Additional training sessions are now being held in Grenada and slated for later in the week in Tobago.

About CHTA Education Foundation (CHTAEF)

The Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association Education Foundation (CHTAEF) was established 30 years ago as a stand-alone 501(c)3 nonprofit, tax-exempt organization, through which scholarships and special assistance are available for the education of Caribbean hotel industry personnel and students pursuing careers in hospitality and tourism. The Education Foundation has awarded more than US$2 million in scholarships and grants to applicants who demonstrate a strong commitment to the hotel and tourism industry. For more information, visit www.caribbeanhotelandtourism.com/about-the-foundation, call +1 305 443-3030 or email foundation@caribbeanhotelandtourism.com.

Release: Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association Education Foundation (CHTAEF)

Photo Captions:

Header: St. Maarten hosted a successful CHTAEF training.

Insert: From left) St. Maarten’s Minister of Tourism Stuart A. Johnson; CHTAEF Chairperson Karolin Troubetzkoy; Neil Kolton, Interval International’s Director of Business Development for the Caribbean and Southeast U.S. and CHTAEF board member; Ricardo Perez, Vice President of the St. Maarten Timeshare Association; and Wyb Meijer, Executive Director of the St. Maarten Hospitality & Trade Association in St. Maarten this month.

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Bahamas News

Cruising should slow down says PAHO

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By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer

 

‘Slow down on Cruising’, that’s the word from the Pan American Health Organization, PAHO in their latest recent press conference.

Dr. Ciro Ugarte Director of Health Emergencies at the PAHO was referring to the Bahamas but made sure to note that the advice was highly relevant to many countries in the times of omicron.

“In the context of intense transmission, due to the Omicron variant as we have highlighted several times. It is just logical to suspend or at least limit the cruise ship traffic as an outbreak on board might end up exceedingly high and probably will go beyond the capacity of local health services”

Both the Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos are experiencing a massive uptick in cases and several warnings regarding cruise travel have been issued by the US Centers for Disease Control.

Cruising just resumed for many regional countries this past Summer, Turks and Caicos was among the latest to restart on December 13.

A stop to sailing would be devastating to economies, however, ports of call like Grand Turk which are reeling with rocketing case numbers of COVID are urged to consider the suggestion of slowing down on ships by PAHO.

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Caribbean News

Cayman gets its second ‘Sir’; former Premier Alden McLaughlin knighted on Jan 1

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By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer

 

#Cayman, January 20, 2022 – Former Premier of Cayman Alden McLaughlin was knighted at the start of 2022; named in the Queen’s New Year Honors List. He is only the second Caymanian to have ever received a knighthood from her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

Sir Vassel Johnson, received the honour in 1994; he was Cayman’s first Financial Secretary; he died in November 2008 at the age of 86.

Current Governor, Martyn Roper extended congratulations saying, “This is an outstanding personal achievement for former Premier McLaughlin, one of the most important and impactful political leaders in Cayman over the last 21 years. It is a significant moment for our islands. This historic award is only the second ever Knighthood to a Caymanian since the first in the 1990s. It is a strong signal of the respect in which Cayman is held and a visible demonstration of the progress Cayman has made as a vibrant democracy with strong good governance foundations.”

Sir McLaughlin, who is also now a QC attorney, served two terms as premier and had a career in politics that spanned 21 years. McLaughlin is known for his role in modernizing Cayman’s constitution.

Current premier G. Wayne Panton described the occasion as a unifying moment for the country saying, This is a day of celebration and great pride for all Caymanians as a son of our soil has been bestowed one of the highest honour.  Today marks a new and most unique storyline in the history of the Cayman Islands.  In considering the rarity and magnitude of this occasion, this is certainly a unifying moment for our community.”

Sir Alden McLaughlin, 60, was appointed as a Knight Commander of the Most Distinguished Order of Saint Michael and Saint George on January 1, 2022.

 

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Caribbean News

Understanding Sargassum with help from the TCI’s Department of Environment & Coastal Resources  

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By Sherrica Thompson

Staff Writer

 

#TurksandCaicos, January 20, 2022 – Sargassum, also known as seaweed, is a natural brown macroalga that lives in temperate and tropical oceans of the world. The floating micro eco-system is important to many species, including baby turtles, little crabs, and tiny fish. All these animals use the floating rafts of the sargassum for protection, shelter, and food.

Over the years, sargassum has been increasing its quantity in the Caribbean due to climate change. As water temperatures increase, sargassum blooms, and as this continues, it occurs in large amounts. This can be dangerous for some marine life because when seaweed washes up on the shore, some species become trapped in the sargassum mat.

Environmental Outreach Coordinator at the Department of Environmental and Coastal Resources for TCI, Amy Avenant, says the Turks and Caicos Islands has not seen the worst of the overgrowth.

“In the Turks and Caicos Islands, we have not seen the full severity of sargassum blooms. Our neighbours in Bonaire, for example, experience up to six feet of sargassum, and they have found stranded dolphins, sea turtles, and sometimes even birds,” said Amy Avenant.

“When the sargassum washes up on shore, it starts to decompose, and when it decomposes, it emits methane, and that is the stinky sulfuric eggy smell that you can smell when you walk past it on the beach. It is a bad thing for climate change because of the methane, but it is not harmful to your health.”

Turks and Caicos saw this in extreme amounts in October; so severe, resorts were forced to bag and bury the stinky seaweed which for over a week covered the usually sandy white stretch of Grace Bay beach.

Avenant noted that in the TCI, we have a balance between managing the influx of sargassum and impacting the areas where it lands because its influx is correlated to the cycles of the moon.

She also said sargassum can be used as a fertilizer in farming. If you collect it, the advice is to spread it out and ensure you wash the excess salt off before adding to your gardens or farms.

There are also hidden dangers and habitat threats to the piles of sargassum on shorelines.

Avenant informed, when you see sargassum on the beach, ensure you watch out for wildlife that might be stuck and species which might have made a home of the ocean’s deposit which has washed up, this is heightened on rocky shores.

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