Jeff and I recently wrapped up a trip to the Caribbean to attend CHTA’s CHIEF 2016 in Puerto Rico. I met some outstanding industry leaders from the area and got a taste of the incredible Caribbean hospitality and culture.
The event offered some huge takeaways as industry players came together to tackle challenges hoteliers face every day. But something else I was amazed by was how open everyone was in sharing their stories. It took this event to another level.
Check out some of our favorites below from a few of the fine folks we met at this inspirational event.
Thor Harris, Founder & CEO, Percepture
Thor from Percepture provided some fantastic foresight in communication strategies within the hospitality industry. Thanks for sharing some key takeaways from your 12 years experience in public relations, digital marketing and crisis management.
Jodi Diamond, CEO & President, Diamond PR
Use social media to distribute inspiration @EdwardStOnge #salesthrutales #chtachief16 #inspiration #travel
— Diamond PR (@diamondpr) October 1, 2016
Jodi did an outstanding job leading and moderating the panel I participated in, ‘Once Upon a Time: Making Sales thru Tales’. Not only did she know just about everyone there, she made a point to make sure we met all of them. Huge thank you for your hospitality!
David Moore & Jessica Peguero, Hotel Managers, Hostal Casa Culebra
David and Jessica’s story is truly inspirational. They jumped headfirst into the hospitality industry by quitting their jobs to lease a 7-room property in Puerto Rico. Not only that, but they’re growing their staff by 33% with the arrival of their first child this fall!
David Chesler, EVP Global Enterprise Sales & Business Development, SiteMinder
#SiteMinder and friends kick off #CHTACHIEF16 in Puerto Rico… We love Distribution, Hospitality and Tourism! We also love the Caribbean!
— David Chestler (@dchestler) September 30, 2016
David is a longtime friend of Flip.to. What do friends let their friends do? In our case, crash and co-host dinner. Thanks for the incredible opportunity to mingle with some amazing industry folk!
Sunil Chatrani, CEO, Elegant Hotels Group & Geeta Chatrani, Managing Director, Yellow Bird Hotel
Time to celebrate! 🍾🍾 We are the #CHIEFAwards 2016 Sales & Marketing Winner! Thank you @CHTAfeeds #CHTACHIEF16 https://t.co/EG0LmQodqL
— Elegant Hotels Group (@ElegantHotels) October 2, 2016
Congrats to Sunil and Geeta who snagged the CHIEF 2016 Sales & Marketing Award! It’s clear why when you take a look at Elegant Hotel Group’s social accounts that they do a wonderful job telling their properties’ stories.
Matt Cooper, Chief Marketing Officer, CHTA
A beautiful day to kick off a conference– Puerto Rico never disappoints! #CHTACHIEF2016 pic.twitter.com/r2KUbqQOQo
— Matt Cooper (@MateoDCooper) September 30, 2016
As the Chief Marketing Officer for CHTA, Matt knows Caribbean hospitality. He made sure we met some amazing properties, opening our eyes to all the wonderful hotels and the tight-knit community in the Caribbean.
Ed Wetschler, Caribbean Editor of Recommend Magazine
2 Eds are better than 1. Left, Edward Weitz, supplier of soft goods to very good hotels. #chtachief16 #decorating @CHTAfeeds @Recommendmag pic.twitter.com/C6D0vnmh01
— Ed Wetschler (@EdWetschler) October 2, 2016
Not only did Ed give a great talk on contemporary communications, but he made it a point to take a photo with all the Eds at the conference. What can I say though, us Eds have got to stick together!
Evy Garcia, Director of Sales, El Conquistador
During our time in Puerto Rico we stayed in El Conquistador Resort. The food, staff and overall resort were outstanding!
In my panel discussion though, I made a remark about how El Conquistador could use an operational survey to gather important feedback on a fictitious problem. Unbeknown to me, the resort’s Director of Sales, Evy, was in the audience and quickly took action to resolve my fictitious problem!
After I was done she quickly came up to me to apologize, and we had a good laugh after I explained it was just an example. Evy and her staff exemplified amazing hospitality—and I was glad to see she and her team had a good sense of humor, too!
Diana Plazas, Caribbean and Latin America Region at Marriott
Vincent Vanderpool-Wallace leads panel on the future of the Caribbean travel industry. #CHTAChief2016 @Recommendmag #Futuristic #marketing pic.twitter.com/bTegtKFjhw
— Ed Wetschler (@EdWetschler) October 2, 2016
Beyond sharing incredible insights on the future of the Caribbean travel industry, Diana was our ‘reporter at large,’ updating us Flip.to folks about the football matchups all weekend. (Fortunately she only had good news to report to me.) Thanks for keeping us in the loop, Diana!
Karolin Güler Troubetzkoy, Executive Director of Marketing and Operations, Jade Mountain Resort
Airbnb now has over 40000 listings in the Caribbean, wants to collect & remit taxes #chtachief16 pic.twitter.com/3V7P9oGFEJ
— Karolin Troubetzkoy (@Troubetzkoy) October 2, 2016
Running one of the top resorts in the Caribbean, Karolin stands out as an industry leader. Meeting her at this event was a nice surprise as we know she’s an advocate for social media driving business for her resort. It just goes to show more on why the Caribbean stands out in the hospitality industry.
By the time the conference was over, Jeff and I met some unbelievable influencers from the Caribbean hospitality market. The event was welcoming, informative and especially inspirational. Thank you to everyone that made this event an outstanding experience!