CHTA partners with Caribbean Maritime University to upskill workforce

CHTA and CMU join forces to strengthen the region's tourism sector

(Source: CHTA)

The Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA) has formalized an important partnership with the Caribbean Maritime University (CMU) by signing a memorandum of understanding (MOU). This collaborative effort aims to improve the skill levels of people working within the region's dynamic tourism sector.

Nicola Madden-Greig, OD, President of the CHTA, emphasized, during the signing of the MOU, the critical need for strategic alliances to address the challenges that threaten the resilience and sustainability of the region's tourism landscape. She underscored the critical role of organizations like CMU in equipping tourism professionals with the tools necessary to navigate the changing dynamics of the industry.

Reflecting on lessons learned during the pandemic, Madden-Greig highlighted the value of cohesive regional cooperation and highlighted the growing importance of collaborative efforts between stakeholder groups such as CHTA and CMU.

While acknowledging the region's commendable recovery from the impacts of COVID-19, the CHTA president expressed concern about labor market constraints and skills development to meet the expectations of a new generation of travelers. Furthermore, he stressed the need to address the challenges posed by technological advances, including artificial intelligence.

Madden-Greig praised CMU for its impactful research initiatives, education and training programs, which have raised the awareness of academia, industry, governments, multilateral organizations and the general public on the importance of implementing standards, training , policies and initiatives that advance better. practices within the industry.

The collaboration between CMU and CHTA will encompass a wide range of educational, training, research and policy-related activities aimed at engaging the Caribbean tourism sector. Key focus areas will include leadership, workforce digitalization, sustainability and environmental practices, maritime security, crisis management and sharing of knowledge and research results. As one of their first initiatives, CMU students will support the delivery of CHTA's Caribbean Travel Marketplace, the region's premier travel trade show, taking place in Montego Bay, Jamaica, May 21-23, 2024. .

Through collaboration, he said, the organizations hope to stimulate more direct action by the industry and promote policies that move the region toward achieving the World Travel and Tourism Council's projection of doubling GDP and creating approximately 1 .34 million jobs by 2032.

Professor Andrew Spencer, President of the Caribbean Maritime University, expressed his enthusiasm for the expanded vision the collaboration represents, emphasizing the university's commitment to elevating and reshaping the workforce to drive Caribbean tourism to new heights.

He welcomed the MOU's potential to broaden the university's reach beyond its sea-focused focus, primarily in areas such as training managers and supervisors within the hospitality and tourism domains. Additionally, he highlighted the university's intention to integrate considerations for aquatic sports, sustainability of the marine environment and opportunities for workforce digitalization.

Professor Spencer declared his intention to change the spirit of people working in tourism so that they appreciate the value of the sector.

With CHTA's 500 members in 30 destinations, along with the university's 3,000 students and faculty equipped with technology and knowledge that can drive and transform industries, the collaboration will be a powerful turning point for Caribbean tourism, as well as maritime sector, and for the general growth and development of a region that “desperately needs it.”  

He anticipated that each of the three years of the MOU would produce significant progress and massive gains towards the ultimate goal of transforming the Caribbean region for greater economic development.

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