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 The Caribbean Hotel Association Annual Conference
 to be Held Outside the Caribbean for First Time;
Set for Miami, June 26-29, 2005



SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (March 18, 2005) – The Caribbean Hotel Association (CHA) is raising the bar for Caribbean hospitality with a ‘member-centric’ annual conference that meets the challenge of being more relevant to its members.  The Caribbean Hotel Industry Conference 2005, better known as CHIC, will take place June 26-29, 2005, at the Hyatt Regency Miami, in Florida – the first time the event is held outside the Caribbean.  “That Caribbean tourism can expect continued growth, albeit moderate, in arrivals this year is both cause for optimism – and a call to pay urgent attention to the improvement of our product in all areas,” said CHA President Berthia M. Parle, MBE.  “In response, we’ve turned CHIC up-side-down and inside-out to give Caribbean hoteliers what they need, the tools to identify opportunities for growth.  Hoteliers can expect to learn how to make more money and how to save money – as well as have access to information that they would otherwise not get.”

CHIC 2005 will offer the features of a world-class event, such as a session entitled “The Strongest Link-International Industry Benchmarking,” where recognized hoteliers from destinations in the Caribbean and abroad will discuss the latest developments in hotels globally, as a way to bring the regional industry up to date with innovative and best practices world-wide.  Meanwhile, for “Extreme Makeover-Design on a Dime” CHA will team up interior design firms and supplier companies with Caribbean hotels, in advance, and given the challenge of refurbishing the properties “on a dime;” the results will be presented at CHIC with a step-by-step presentation of the transformation.  Further, the traditional professional development sessions will be addressed in “Fresh & Hot Market Research,” a series of live focus groups that dare hoteliers to test their marketing decisions and hedge their bets, with discussions on issues, contradictions, trends, and market diversification.

Buying power is another very specific need of Caribbean hotels, small and independent properties in particular, and an important consideration for holding CHIC 2005 in Miami, Florida.  “Miami is the industry’s buying capital and it enjoys great access from Caribbean destinations, which makes it convenient and affordable for Caribbean hoteliers and suppliers to attend,” said Barbadian hotelier Peter Odle, 1st vice president of CHA and chairman of the CHIC Planning Committee, as well as the CHA Membership Committee.  Attending hoteliers will automatically be eligible to earn $1,000 towards purchases from any of the exhibitors in trade show, through a lottery that will be held every hour during the business hours of the trade show.  The Trade Show will also feature a Demo High Tech Hotel Room and a Demo Green Hotel Model, focusing on revenue and cost-saving opportunities, as well as guest convenience.

Spice to the Mix

Ten teams of Caribbean chefs, pastry chefs and bartenders will once again put the spotlight on Caribbean cuisine and tourism at the regional culinary competition Taste of the Caribbean® 2005, before an expected audience of 1,000 members of the Caribbean hospitality industry at CHIC 2005.  Each national team will compete in a ‘live kitchen’ environment, preparing and serving a 3-course meal for 25 persons in four hours. Competition meals will be open to the Miami public, adding a consumer component to the CHIC conference.  To date, Barbados, Puerto Rico, Trinidad & Tobago, and Sint Maarten have confirmed the participation of their national culinary teams in the competition.

Traditional popular events featured on the conference agenda are the CHA Foundation Golf Tournament and the Silent and Live Auctions.  The American Express Awards Luncheon, another conference highlight, will name the 2005 Employee and Supervisor of the Year, Hotel Association Executives of the Year, and winners of the Tourism Media Awards. In the CHIC tradition, the conference will culminate with the CHIC 2005 Champagne Reception and Gala Black-tie Banquet including the coveted "Hotelier of the Year" presentation.

Registration Information

For more information, log on to www.cha-chic.org or contact CHA’s Meetings Department, at 1000 Ponce de León Avenue, 5th Floor, San Juan, Puerto Rico 00907; phone 787-725-9139, fax 787-725-9108, e-mail: meetings@caribbeanhotels.org  Delegates who register before May 13, 2005 can save $100 on CHIC 2005 registration package, valued at $525.00 for the primary delegate and $490.00 for the second delegate from the same hotel.  Small hoteliers and hotelier groups consisting of three or more delegates from the same hotel receive specially-priced reduced fees.

The registration package includes the opening cocktail reception; entry to the Trade Show Exhibition; attendance at all educational sessions; trade show breakfast and lunch; two trade show cocktail receptions with open bar; access to the live kitchen cook-offs of Taste of the Caribbean©; coffee breaks; entry to Caribbean Night Theme Party; American Express Awards lunch with premium wines; and the Champagne Reception and Hotelier of the Year Gala Banquet with premium wines.


Contact:
Lorraine Ortiz-Valcárcel
Communications Director
Caribbean Hotel Association
1000 Ponce de León Ave., 5th Floor
San Juan, Puerto Rico 00907
Email: lortiz@caribbeanhotels.org
Telephone: 787-725-9139 x244
Fax: 787-725-9108

Also See: New Caribbean Hotel Association President, Mrs. Berthia Parle, MBE, Draws Attention from Heads of Government on the Region's Major Economic Engine - Tourism / July 2004

Caribbean Hotel Association's Marketplace Attracts the Highest Number of Participants Ever; Strong Winter Season Predicted for Caribbean Tourism / January 2005

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