Monday, April 13, 2015
Monday, April 13, 2015
“Commitment and collaboration between the public and private sectors at an unprecedented level is essential if the Caribbean is to realize the potential which tourism presents in elevating and transforming the economies of the region and generating employment at all levels,” stated Emil Lee, president of the Caribbean Hotel & Tourism Association (CHTA) during a recent visit to The Bahamas
Lee was in The Bahamas to address members of the Bahamas Hotel and Tourism Association (BHTA) and meet with leaders from the public and private sectors.
“CHTA believes in the value which National Hotel Associations can bring to the table in helping to drive economies through tourism. Our visit to The Bahamas is part of a deliberate effort to learn from the successes and the challenges at the local level as we seek to broaden public-private sector collaboration locally and regionally and identify issues and best and worst practices which can assist public and private stakeholders in our improvement efforts,” said Lee.
Addressing BHTA members, Lee advised that the foundation for a viable and sustainable public-private sector effort must be grounded in transparency, trust, dialogue, common measurable goals, and a recognition that the currencies that motivate the public and private sectors differ. He emphasized that through collaboration the common goals of building strong and competitive tourism driven economies, creating employment, and increasing tax revenue can be realized.
“The Bahamas has distinguished itself in the region as a model for points of public-private sector collaboration,” said Lee. “CHTA and all of the region’s stakeholders need to learn from one another and our successes and challenges, with CHTA serving as an information and change broker.”
During the membership meeting BHTA president Stuart Bowe and others led discussions on key areas of the association’s work including taxation, airlift, energy efficiency, education and training, and culinary development, all points where some level of public-private sector collaboration underpins the success of the organization’s initiatives and the destination’s value.
President Bowe commented: “We were pleased to share our work with CHTA. The Bahamas welcomes the opportunity to learn from our regional counterparts, best practices and challenges. In that regard, CHTA is a key channel for connecting us to information and resources.” stated Bowe.
Lee also met with Bahamas Tourism Minister Obie Wilchcombe. Lee said: “Our discussions were very fruitful. The Minister’s enthusiasm and commitment to regional collaboration is encouraging. CHTA looks forward to continuing to draw upon his ideas and leadership.”