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 The Caribbean Hotel Industry Conference Set for June 25-28, 2006 in Miami
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Focus on Strategic Approaches for the Caribbean Hotel Sector
to Respond to the Global Tourism Challenge
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SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (May 11, 2006) – The members of the Caribbean Hotel Association (CHA) will convene at the annual Caribbean Hotel Industry Conference, better known as CHIC 2006, to be held June 25-28, 2006, at the Hyatt Regency Miami, in Florida, in association with American Express.  The agenda of the four-day conference will be in tune with CHA’s mission to optimize the full potential of the Caribbean hotel and tourism industry.  To that end, sessions will focus on strategic approaches for the Caribbean hotel sector to respond to the global tourism challenge. 
 
The CHIC 2006 Opening General Session will set the stage with a discussion on global competition, the world traveler, and where the Caribbean fits.  The audience-interactive session will set out the success of competing global destinations, such as Las Vegas, Macau, and Dubai – and determine the comparable values in the Caribbean brand. 
 
The Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International (HSMAI) teams up with CHA, as sponsor of two high-level discussions: “Winning in a Branded World – Case Studies in Innovation and Creativity” and “Change, Change, Change - the Reality of Consumers.”  “The HSMAI track at CHIC 2006 will open the eyes of our industry to new techniques that capitalize on innovation and creativity to grow market share, turn guest experience into a unique competitive advantage, and -ultimately - compete successfully against the growing global marketplace,” remarked Alec Sanguinetti, director general and CEO of CHA.  Each day, morning sessions will be followed by business opportunities at the CHIC Trade Show, with the suppliers of products and services that specialize in the Caribbean hospitality industry.
 
In the CHIC tradition, American Express pays tribute to the stars of the hospitality workforce with the American Express Awards Lunch.  “For two decades, we have had the honor of contributing to the development of service professionals in the Caribbean hospitality industry through training and education,” said Dianelys Rodríguez, VP & Market Head for the Caribbean, American Express Establishment Services.  “At CHIC, we take the opportunity to recognize outstanding individuals who carry on their shoulders an enormous responsibility of delivering a unique experience to visitors,” concluded Rodríguez, who pointed out that human resource development is a core value of the American Express commitment with CHA to strengthen the Caribbean tourism product, through the sponsorship CHIC as well as projects ranging from the scholarship program of the Caribbean Hotel Foundation, the Hurricane Preparedness Manual and Workshop, and the Small Hotels Operators Reference Manual, among others.
 
Caribbean cuisine is a showcase of our region’s character that offers a genuine Caribbean experience to our visitors, while strengthening and expanding other economic sectors, such as agriculture.  Once again, national teams of Caribbean chefs, pastry chefs and bartenders will put the spotlight on Caribbean cuisine and tourism at the regional culinary competition Taste of the Caribbean® 2006 at CHIC.  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 conference.
 
CHIC 2006 will culminate with a closing Gala Black-tie Gala Dinner to honor the "2006 Caribbean Hotelier of the Year" and the Caribbean Food and Beverage Awards of Excellence, highest honors conferred on members of the Caribbean food and beverage industry.  .  In addition, CHA President-Elect Peter Odle, from Barbados, will officially assume the reins of the association for the 2006-2008 term.
 
Registration
For more information, log on to www.cha-chic.org or contact CHA’s Conferences and Events 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  
 
About the Caribbean Hotel Association – www.caribbeanhotels.org   
The Caribbean Hotel Association is dedicated to excellence in hospitality, leadership in marketing, and sustainable growth in tourism, to the benefit of its membership and that of the wider Caribbean community. It aims to be a regional forum that will advance the Caribbean hotel and tourism industry. The members of CHA represent the entire spectrum of hospitality industry’s private sector, from 835 member hotels representing some 127,000 hotel rooms in 36 national hotel associations, to 520 allied members including airline executives, tour operators, travel agents, trade and consumer press, hotel and restaurant suppliers, and others. 
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Contact:

Lorraine J. Ortiz-Valcárcel
Communications Director
Caribbean Hotel Association
1000 Ponce de León Ave., 5th Floor
San Juan, Puerto Rico 00907
T + 1 787 725.9139 x244
lortiz@caribbeanhotels.org

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Also See: Caribbean Hotel Association Recognizes Individuals that Raise the Bar for Caribbean Hospitality; Eustace Guishard, GM of Cap Juluca Resort in Anguilla Named “Caribbean Hotelier of the Year” / July 2005
Caribbean Hotel Association Evolves from Trade Association to Developmental Agency; Commemorating 40 Years / Jan 2002

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