Continuing our journey through the Caribbean, we interviewed Nicola Madden-Greig, the first Jamaican-born president of the Caribbean Hotel &Tourism Association (CHTA) for the period 2021-2023.
Nicola has more than 25 years’ experience in tourism and hospitality, making her a specialist in managing groups, events and everything MICE-related.
She currently has the position of Group Director of Marketing &Sales for The Courtleigh Hospitality Group in Kingston, Jamaica, the largest and most important corporate hotel group in the country.
“In life one must take things one step at a time and not become stressed out, because tomorrow is always a new beginning. Let’s remember that things are always changing, that never ends,” are the words on which Nicola bases her actions.
Jamaica is taking a leadership role in the Caribbean MICE industry
The principal strength of Jamaica—and of the Caribbean in general—is its leisure segment, but there has been growth in both the corporate and business sectors as well. The county has six areas with world-class resorts; the capital city, Kingston, offers the majority of extras in the area of entertainment and culture.
Kingston is considered the “heartbeat of Jamaica” in the shadows of the majestic UNESCO designated world heritage site – The Blue & John Crow Mountains.
“We have very good MICE services in Jamaica, really there’s nothing lacking, and that can be said of the Caribbean as a whole. We have the most beautiful venues for conventions and exhibitions, including the Montego Bay Convention Center—one of the largest in the region—and incomparable incentive programs,” asserted Nicola Madden-Greig.
Challenges and goals faced by CHTA for the good of the Caribbean
As has been mentioned, the Caribbean was one of the first regions to resume activity—in collaboration with authorities and associations—since the pandemic started.
“Despite significant efforts, while there’s always something more to be done we are content with the pace of recovery which according to WTTC outpaces other tourism dependent regions in the world”.
Nicola prioritizes the establishment of new forms of technology while maintaining and increasing programs of sustainability across the region. Preserving resources is vital, and are supporting destinations with training, improving overall services and meet spaces offerings.
“The Caribbean is ready to continue
receiving visitors. We have such a wide variety for the incentives and meetings
market that it’s not enough to visit just one Caribbean destination. If you
choose the Caribbean, you must come at least four times to begin to really
experience it,” she concluded.