||Last Updated: Jan 31, 2019 - 11:32:45 AM
Hotelier Sunil Chatrani (center) receives his award from CHTA's Director General Frank Comito (left) and CHTA President Patricia Affonso-Dass.
MONTEGO BAY, Jamaica - Sunil Chatrani, Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director of Elegant Hotels Group, is the Caribbean's 2019 Hotelier of the Year.
The Guyanese-born, Barbados-based hotelier received the top honor at the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association's (CHTA) 37th annual Caribbean Travel Marketplace, which opened in Montego Bay yesterday evening.
Chatrani has worked in hotel operations for more than 20 years and currently presides over Elegant's operations of seven hotels and resorts in Barbados, including Crystal Cove Hotel, Turtle Beach Resort, Waves Hotel and Spa, The House, Colony Club Hotel, Tamarind and Treasure Beach Hotel. The group also includes the acclaimed Daphne's Restaurant on Barbados' west coast, sister eatery to Daphne's Restaurant in London.
The exceptional hotelier joined Elegant Hotels Group in 2010, and under his leadership the group recently signed its first management contract in Antigua (with Hodges Bay Resort & Spa) as well as a sales and marketing agreement with The Landings Resort and Spa in St. Lucia.
"It is very overwhelming. The truth is all of us in the industry work very hard on a daily basis and so many other hoteliers are deserving of this," said an elated Chatrani, who thanked the team at Elegant Hotels and his family for their support.
Chatrani's winning developmental strategy builds the profitability of each property with a focused three-step program: Refurbish, Reposition, Reprice. This strategy promotes continuous investment and improvement.
In addition to day-to-day maintenance and regular refurbishment, Chatrani also manages a central fund for financing larger projects each year. He believes that this, as well as the group's outstanding training and service programs, generates tangible improvements in the guest experience at the Elegant Hotels Group properties.
"Sunil is a true Caribbean success story," opined Frank Comito, CHTA's CEO and Director General. "His professional accomplishments have been outstanding, and his commitment to staff and community development is nothing short of exemplary."
Chatrani was Chairman of the Barbados Hotel and Tourism Association from 2014 to 2016. During the first part of his tenure, he ensured that agreements which helped all hotels finalize access to duty-free concessions were legislated.
He is currently Chairman of the Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc. (BTMI) and the Barbados Tourism Product Authority (BTPA).
Caribbean Travel Marketplace 2019 is produced by CHTA in collaboration with co-hosts the Jamaica Hotel & Tourist Association, the Jamaica Tourist Board and the Jamaica Ministry of Tourism. It is the leading event in the Caribbean tourism industry where delegates from Caribbean countries meet with buyers from more than 20 markets.
This year's host sponsors are Appleton Estate Rum Experience, Interval International, Jamaica Hotel & Tourist Association, Jamaica Tourist Board, Jamaica Ministry of Tourism, JetBlue Vacations, MasterCard, Sandals and Scotiabank, while Platinum sponsors include 7 Pillars: Marketing on Demand, Adara, AMResorts, Figment Design, Marketplace Excellence, OBMI, Sojern, STR, TravelClick, Travelzoo, and the United States Virgin Islands.
Gold sponsors are AeroMD, American Airlines, ARDA, Arrivalist, Best Western International, BlackDoctor.Org, Bonnier Corporation, Caribbean Airlines, Caribbean Journal, Condé Nast Traveler, Delta Air Lines, The Discoverer, EPICA, Expedia Group, FirstCaribbean International Bank, Flip.to, Golf Channel, HCP Media, HEBS Digital, Matador Network, Meredith, NextPax, The New York Times, Northstar Travel Group, Prevue magazine, Questex, Rainmaker, Recommend magazine, Robb Report, Simpleview, SiteMinder, St. Maarten, St. Martin, TL Cooper Media, travAlliancemedia, Travel + Leisure, Travel Relations, TravPRO Mobile, TripAdvisor, Trip Mate, and The Wall Street Journal.
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