(PRESS RELEASE VIA SNO) – The St. Lucia Hotel & Tourism Association (SLHTA) board of directors has ratified the appointment of distinguished hotelier, Karolin Troubetzkoy as president of the SLHTA.
Mrs. Troubetzkoy’s appointment was announced at the SLHTA’s 54th annual general meeting, which was held on Friday, July 20 at Harbour Club St. Lucia.
Mrs. Troubetzkoy, executive director of the internationally acclaimed and award-winning Jade Mountain and Anse Chastanet resorts in Soufrière, assumes leadership of the association from Sanovnik Destang, Executive Director of Bay Gardens Resorts, who had served as SLHTA president for the past two years.
Prior to her appointment, Mrs. Troubetzkoy served as president of the Caribbean Hotel & Tourism Association (CHTA) for almost three years. She was also chairperson of the CHTA Advocacy Committee from 2012 to 2014.
From 2010 to 2015 she served as president of the SLHTA and played an instrumental role in the successful implementation of a hotel booking engine for the association and the establishment of the Tourism Enhancement Fund. Mrs. Troubetzkoy also oversaw the development of a social media platform for the SLHTA and the launch of several tourism-related websites.
She was also a director of the former Saint Lucia Tourist Board for several years.
A past recipient of the 2012 CHTA Caribbean Hotelier of the Year Award and the 2006 St. Lucia Hotelier of the Year Award, she also received a Crystal Award from the SLHTA for service to the hotel industry.
Addressing the gathering following her appointment, Mrs. Troubetzkoy said she had been touched by the many emails and phone calls she received urging her to accept her nomination for the presidency, adding that she looks forward to helping build strong public-private sector partnerships across the industry in an effort to address the challenges facing the sector.
Mrs. Troubetzkoy, whose resorts adhere to strict environmental standards, said sustainability coupled with responsible environmental management and the building of climate change resilience, would be among the SLHTA’s top priorities during her tenure as president.
“Operating our businesses sustainably, mitigating the effects of climate change, preparing for, and facing, the dangers of stronger and devastating hurricanes, environmental issues … introducing more energy renewable sources and our very serious concern for our visitors’ safety and security – all of these will require both our individual and collective attention,” said the new SLHTA president.
She added: “Tourism cannot operate in a bubble. What affects us as entire countries and as people, also affects our tourism industry.”
Other priorities for Mrs. Troubetzkoy include succession planning within the SLHTA, promoting the development of a sustained regional public-private sector approach to marketing the “incredible brand that we call the Caribbean,” and increasing training opportunities for St. Lucians working across the sector.
The AGM, which turned out to be a full house event, was attended by several government ministers, including Prime Minister Allen Chastanet; Minister for Tourism Dominic Fedee; Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries Ezechiel Joseph; Minister for Infrastructure Stephenson King; Hermangild Francis, Minister for Home Affairs, Justice and National Security; and Minister for Health and Wellness Mary Isaac.
Also present were Mayor of Castries Peterson Francis; Ernest Hilaire, Parliamentary Representative for Castries South; and several private sector executives and members of the diplomatic corps.
Jamaica’s Tourism Minister, Edmund Bartlett was the guest speaker for the event.
Outgoing president Sanovnik Destang congratulated Troubetzkoy on her new appointment and lauded her for outstanding contributions to the development of the tourism industry in St. Lucia and the wider Caribbean.
“She has been a really great source of support and inspiration to me when I was the president for the last two and a half years,” he said, adding that it has not been an easy decision for her to take over the role of SLHTA president, which he appreciated her accepting.
“It gives me great pleasure to hand over the reins and throw my support behind someone who is as passionate about St. Lucia as she is. She is very much St. Lucian and she has embraced St. Lucia as much as St. Lucia has embraced her,” said Mr. Destang.
He also expressed appreciation for the support and encouragement he had received from the SLHTA board of directors and the government, as well as from parliamentarians on both sides of the House.
The new SLHTA president also came in for high praise from Prime Minister Chastanet, Minister Fedee as well as Minister Bartlett, all of whom addressed the meeting.
Also appointed to the SLHTA’s new executive committee were John Mathurin, who will serve as first vice president, and Erwin Louisy, second vice president.