The Caribbean Hotel & Tourism Association (CHTA) has named hospitality industry leader Jeff Vasser to the position of Director General/CEO of the organization. He assumes his new post on November 18.
Vasser joins the CHTA after serving since 2002 as the President of the Atlantic City Convention & Visitors Authority (ACCVA). While there he oversaw the day-to-day operation of the authority’s management/administration, convention sales, marketing, media relations, and tourism divisions, as well as its approximately 60 employees, the 14,000-seat Boardwalk Hall and the 500,000-square-foot Atlantic City Convention Center.
In his new position, Vasser will be responsible for helping to manage and grow CHTA’s role as the voice of the Caribbean hospitality industry for the development of the region in the highly competitive environment of international tourism. He replaces Alec Sanguinetti who retired at the end of January after 19 years with the organization, nine of which were as Director General/CEO.
According to Richard J. Doumeng, CHTA’s President, Vasser was chosen after a comprehensive search that saw interest from more than 100 well-qualified candidates.
“We have only had two CEO’s in our 51-year history, so obviously the selection process was very important,” said Doumeng. “Jeff brings a wealth of experience, energy, enthusiasm and optimism to our association and we are all delighted that he is joining us. We are eager to get to work on the future of this organization as it plays such a vital role in the region.”
During his tenure in Atlantic City, Vasser helped oversee consistent conventions sales production growth and implement several initiatives that impacted the development of the city as a tourism destination. These included sports activities that brought the A-10 college basketball tournament, ECAC Men’s College Hockey championship, American Hockey League All-Star and regular season games, and an NBA preseason game to historic Boardwalk Hall.
Vasser was also a proponent of sustainability in the seaside destination and oversaw the Atlantic City Convention Center’s installation of the largest single roof solar panel array, which generates 26% of the building’s energy.
Prior to joining the ACCVA, Vasser held positions with major hospitality companies, including Choice Hotels International, Laventhol & Horwath and Four Seasons Hotels. Vasser also served as Chief Financial Officer for Cipriani International, SA, in New York City and was a Senior Consultant for the Public Sector/Gaming and Entertainment Group for Deloitte & Touche Consulting Group.
Vasser is a graduate of Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration where he received a Bachelor of Science degree. He holds a Master of Public Administration degree from the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University with a concentration in Public Finance. He has also earned the Certified Hotel Administrator designation issued by the American Hotel & Lodging Association.
Founded in 1962, CHTA represents the entire spectrum of the hospitality industry’s private sector including 33 National Hotel Associations across the Caribbean region, over 600 individual hotel members with approximately 91,000 rooms, and more than 300 supplier companies represented as “Allied” members. CHTA’s mission is to facilitate the full potential of the Caribbean hotel and tourism industry by serving members’ needs and building partnerships in a socially responsible and sustainable manner.
CHTA’s hotel member companies are comprised of properties of all sizes – from small boutique properties to mega resorts with international notoriety – each appealing to different market bases. CHTA-member hotels employ approximately 100,000 employees that are based in the Caribbean as well as a worldwide network of sales and marketing personnel throughout the United States, Canada, Latin America, United Kingdom and Europe.
In 2012, CHTA hotel members earned an estimated $3.9 billion in room revenue alone. Additional revenue sources for CHTA hotel members include the food & beverage industry, weddings and honeymoons, tours and excursions, family activities, gaming plus meetings and incentive groups, all of which add billions of dollars in revenue to local Caribbean economies annually.
As a benefit to membership, CHTA offers several successful events over the course of the year, including the Caribbean Hospitality Investment Conference and Operations Summit (CHICOS), taking place Nov. 7 – 8 in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, as well as the Caribbean Travel Marketplace taking place January 12 – 14, 2014 in Montego Bay, Jamaica.
For more information on CHTA visit: www.caribbeanhotelandtourism.com