Caribbean Tourism Leader: “We Can’t Rest On Our Laurels”
Caribbean tourism leader
Karolin Troubetzkoy says the region has to keep refreshing its product to
ensure its people continue to benefit from the revenue generated by the
"Tourism is by far
the biggest sector of our economies in the Caribbean and we ought to ensure our
hotels and other visitor facilities continue to improve because our people rely
on revenue from the sector for education, health, culture and environmental
conservation," said Troubetzkoy, President-elect of the Caribbean Hotel
and Tourism Association.
"We cannot rest on
our laurels because the global tourism market is growing rapidly and many
countries are actively competing with us for the new business," said the
St. Lucia hotelier. She observed that the Caribbean is likely to face
challenges as a result of the easing of travel restrictions for Americans to
visit Cuba. For many Caribbean destinations, the United States is their largest
Troubetzkoy, who along
with her husband Nick, owns and operates the award-winning Anse Chastanet and
Jade Mountain, lauded the recent inaugural Caribbean Hospitality Industry
Exchange Forum (CHIEF) for charting a path to effective refreshing of the
industry. "CHIEF has astutely identified 3 areas we should be focusing on:
operations, sales & marketing and the need to go green," she said.
Attracting and training
the right personnel are the keys to successful operations, Troubetzkoy
contends. "The personal touch is one of the most important elements. A
tourist who connects positively, even on a perfunctory level, with at least 1
staff member, has a very high chance of returning."
She also believes it is
important to ask: "Are we delivering the Caribbean dream and are we
maximizing the guest experience to increase repeat visitation?"
For sales and marketing
success Troubetzkoy encourages hoteliers to pay attention to guest reviews and
turn them into a positive reputation builder. "If you receive a negative
review, embrace it, reply quickly and explain how you can use their experience
as a teaching opportunity." Positive reviews can serve as opportunities
for hotels to tell their story and to embark on effective public relations,
advertising and social media strategies.
"The Caribbean is a
maturing market so it is important to refurbish and renovate hotels and
resorts," she added. "As we do so, we must use the occasion to go
more green and see the return on investment increase," Troubetzkoy added.