SILVER SPRING, USA — Choice Hotels International is strengthening its commitment to responsible tourism development by supporting Caribbean efforts to keep sustainability at the forefront of the region’s most important industry.
Speaking ahead of next week’s 12th annual Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) Sustainable Tourism Conference (STC-12), Choice Hotels director Jose Salvador Icaza said sustainability for the lodging company is more than a buzzword.
"We must embed sustainability into all areas of tourism – from hotels reducing energy costs, operators respecting the natural environment and integrating local communities to managers optimizing revenues using robust, state-of-the-art technology," said Icaza, the Caribbean franchise and emerging markets director of Choice Hotels International.
Meeting under the theme "Keeping the Right Balance: Rising above the Numbers," the conference, a collaborative effort between the CTO and the Bermuda Department of Tourism, will be held from April 3-6, 2011.
Icaza heads to the CTO conference on the heels of successful business development visits to Puerto Rico and Dominica this month, and said he looks forward to sharing the company’s new value proposition for the Caribbean and Atlantic region with local and regional hoteliers.
Icaza sees Bermuda "as among our focused target markets this year," especially with the Choice Hotels new Ascend Collection membership program.
"Ascend Collection is not a traditional franchise concept. Designed for historic, boutique or unique hotels, our partners retain their independence, authenticity and superior service while connecting to our powerful global reservations system — a true example of sustainability," he remarked.
Delegates to the conference will examine how Caribbean tourism destinations strategically plan to build upon their successes, capitalize on future trends and become more globally competitive and sustainable.