CHTA to honour John Bell with Caribbean Icon of Hospitality Award

Trinidad-based tourism expert John Bell will receive the Icon of Hospitality Award from the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA) later this month.

According to the CHTA, Bell’s lasting legacy and indelible footprint on Caribbean tourism was foundational to the region’s rise to the world tourism stage.

As the CHTA’s first executive Bell led the evolution from a traditional trade association to a developmental agency for the Caribbean region’s tourism private sector.  He was also instrumental in the development of programmes and initiatives that shaped the CHTA’s membership thru today.

 “Like so many others, John’s vision, enthusiasm and knowledge guided and inspired me to want to be part of this dynamic industry.  Reflecting upon his many contributions and achievements, I could think of no more fitting person to recognize,” CHTA President Patricia Affonso-Dass said in a media release.

According to the CHTA, John’s involvement in the Caribbean hotel and tourism industry started prior to to the CHTA and included serving as president of the Trinidad and Tobago Hotel and Tourism Association from 1971-1974, general manager of the Bel Air Hotel in Trinidad from 1967-1974 and assistant manager of the Blue Lagoon Hotel, St. Vincent, 1964-1967. 

He joined CHA in 1974, under the leadership of Jim Pepperdine, when he was appointed the first executive director for CHA and chairman of the Small Hotels Advisory Council – a considerable asset at that time for the association as membership growth was the number one priority.

Bell is expected to receive the Icon of Hospitality Award during the opening of the Caribbean Hospitality Industry Exchange Form (CHIEF) at the Hyatt Regency Miami on Friday, June 21.

The Icon of Hospitality Award was established in 2017 and is CHTA’s ultimate recognition created to celebrate the careers and lives of extraordinary leaders whose work in Caribbean hospitality has stood the test of time and left its mark on CHTA and the region.

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 Like so many others, John’s vision, enthusiasm and knowledge guided and inspired me to want to be part of this dynamic industry.
— CHTA President Patricia Affonso-Dass