PRESS RELEASE – St. Lucia’s Cheryl Skeete will represent the Caribbean for the next two years as a Director on the Board of the Inter-American & Caribbean Network of Owners and Operators of Small Hotels, following a milestone election recently in Quito Ecuador.
The election took place at a gathering of the Second Encounter of Owners and Operators of Small Hotels of Latin America and the Caribbean, which ran September 23 – 25 in the South American country.
It came with funding by the Organization of American States (OAS) and hosted by the Ministry of Tourism of Ecuador, National Federation of Tourism, the Chambers of Ecuador and the Quito Tourism Authority and others.
Ms. Skeete is the Owner and Operator of Habitat Terrace Hotel, in Bonne Terre Gros Islet, and is also a Board member of the St. Lucia Hotel and Tourism Association, representing Small Hotels.
She said, “One of the highlights of this Encounter was the presentation of a selected few to the Mayor of Quito, and St. Lucia was no exception.
At a ceremony at the City Hall I, on behalf of our island, received a certificate as an Honorary Guest of the City of Quito.”
Joining St. Lucia were representatives from Antigua & Barbuda, St. Vincent & the Grenadines, Trinidad & Tobago, Bolivia, Panama, Nicaragua, Uruguay, Argentina, Costa Rica, Honduras, El Salvador, The Bahamas, Peru and Ecuador.
In 2013, at the first encounter held in Costa Rica, St. Lucia and the other islands added new lines to their history books with the signing of a document agreeing to the formalization of a Network of Owners and Operators of Small Hotels of Latin America and the Caribbean.
Consequently, a committee was formed, also comprising of a delegate from the Caribbean to prepare the statute.
“At this Second Encounter, the statute was presented and ratified at a special meeting. The Caribbean islands came together and recommended changes to the statute relevant to the region. We are now waiting for the final draft with the possible incorporation of those recommendations,” Skeete explained.
Also at that meeting a Board of Directors for the Network was elected to sit for the period 2014-2016 with St. Lucia being among those most outstanding.
The board members include:
• Chairperson – Ms. Nicole Marrder – Honduras
• South American Vice Chair – Mr. Luis Antonio Ampuero Ramos – Bolivia
• North American Vice Chair – Mr. Guillermo Berriochoa Lopez – Mexico
• Caribbean Vice Chair – Mrs. Denise Aleong-Thomas – Trinidad & Tobago
• Central America – Ms. Ximena Gurdian – Nicaragua
• South America – Mr. Javier Hundskopf Exebio – Peru
• Caribbean – Ms. Cheryl Skeete – St. Lucia
• Executive Director – Mr. Ivan Lopez Villalba – Ecuador
Further, St. Lucia joined hands with counterparts from the OAS, Ecuador, Argentina, Peru, Trinidad and Tobago, as well as Jamaica, and the WTO to deliver key information to owners and operators of Small Hotels represented.
The discussions ranged from Legislation Agenda and Legal Frame of the Local Government for the Tourism Sector; Congress, Conventions & Events: How to enhance the participation of Small Hotels; Perspectives for Hotel Investments in the Region; Training and Coaching for Small Hotels: Options & Opportunities.
Matters of Promotion and Commercialization (E-commerce); Food contribution to the identity of the Small Hotels; Sustainability and Good Environmental Practices; Certification of Persons by Work Competencies; Quality, Destinations and Certifications; and Successful Experiences also took center stage.