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Josef Forstmayr outlines his vision for the Caribbean holidays industry

The new President of the Caribbean Hotels and Tourist Association (CHTA), Josef Forstmayr, who is Managing Director of Round Hill Hotel and Villas, has outlined his vision which will help enhance the tourism industry and Caribbean holidays.

Josef Forstmayr outlines his vision for the Caribbean holidays industry

The Managing Director of Round Hill Hotel and Villas, Josef Forstmayr was last month appointed at the new President of the Caribbean Hotel and Tourist Association (CHTA) for a two year term.

The new President has outlined his vision to enhance the tourism industry in the Caribbean using Jamaican to forefront the drive to attract more travellers to book Caribbean holidays.

Forstmayr is well known as a leader within the high-end tourism industry and acknowledges the positive efforts made by the Minister of Tourism for Jamaica, Edmund Bartlett to encourage more travellers from all over the world to enjoy Jamaica holidays and boosting the tourism market during the global recession.

Forstmayr spoke of what he aims to accomplish during his time as President of the CHTA.

"Firstly I want to strengthen the advocacy campaign, driving home the message just how important tourism is to Caribbean economies. Both the politicians and our people need to listen to the fact that tourism creates economic opportunities. The argument that 50 per cent of tourism earnings are exported is nonsense. Tourism surpasses all other forms of economic activity in the Caribbean. In Jamaica, Hopewell without tourism would be non-existent. Turn off tourism in Jamaica and see what happens. If you did that you would have a hue and cry. Tourism is vital to the Caribbean and I cannot stress that enough."

Forstmayr has a wealth of experience in the Caribbean holidays industry, particularly within the high-end sector.

Originally from Austria, Forstmayr is fluent in four languages and studied Economic Science and Tourism at the University of Salzburg. He started his career as the Assistant Manager of Coconut Grove in Negril, Jamaica in 1979 and over the years held various positions at Tryall Golf and Beach Hotel, Trident Villas and Hotel, and his current placement at Round Hill Hotel and Villas. He was voted Caribbean Hotelier of the Year in 2007 and held the position of President of the Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association from June 2001 to 2003.

Forstmayr believes that by using Jamaica to head marketing campaigns, more travellers will choose to take Caribbean holidays, not only in Jamaica, but on other neighbouring islands.

One destination which could be considered as a threat is Cuba if the current U.S-Cuba embargo is lifted. At present U.S residents are unable to freely travel to Cuba but if the ban is lifted the region could see a significant increase in travellers from the U.S booking Cuba holidays and some believe it could become the top destination for holidays in the Caribbean.

Forstmayr commented: "I think people will initially go there because they are curious, but that can benefit us because Cuba can then become a stepping stone to the rest of the Caribbean. On the flip side it can turn out to be a deterrent to business for us and then it becomes a challenge. It is a two-edged sword but ultimately with 10 million people hungry for consumption, the opportunities are massive."

He concluded: "I don't think that Cuba will pose a significant threat to other Caribbean destinations, but it will provide some competition."

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