Interval International, a prominent worldwide provider of vacation services, joined the Caribbean Hotel & Tourism Association (CHTA) Education Foundation to host three days of training workshops at the Simpson Bay Resort and Marina in St. Maarten. The education seminars, which were attended by nearly 90 employees from resorts in St. Maarten, were underwritten in part by a $15,000 donation made to the foundation by Interval and participating member resorts earlier this year.

“We have been longtime supporters of hospitality and tourism-focused programs in the region, and through this initiative, we are able to help enhance employee contributions to their respective organizations,” said Neil Kolton, Interval’s director of business development for the Caribbean and Southeast U.S. and CHTA Education Foundation board member. “This is the second training and development series that we have sponsored, and we are thrilled to see the high level of engagement from participants.”

The seminars culminated with a graduation ceremony, which featured Hon. Stuart A. Johnson, Minister of Tourism, Economic Affairs, Traffic and Telecommunications, St. Maarten, who spoke about the importance of ongoing professional development. Ricardo Perez, vice chairman of the St. Maarten Timeshare Association, provided an update on the vacation ownership sector, which is one the destination’s largest employers.

Karolin Troubetzkoy, immediate past president of CHTA and CHTA Education Foundation chairman, also attended the commencement and addressed the ongoing need for educational programs for the tourism industry. “Providing training opportunities that allow our hospitality team members to grow and hone their skills raises the bar of overall service levels for our region. The CHTA Education Foundation will continue to create innovative programs that empower and challenge the participants,” Troubetzkoy noted. “We are very appreciative of the partnership and financial support from Interval and its member resorts, who have helped to make it possible for us to offer this program to a larger audience.”

The CHTA Education Foundation was established in 1986 as a non-profit, tax-exempt organization through which scholarships and special assistance are made available for the education of Caribbean hotel industry personnel and students pursuing careers in tourism. As part of its mission, it provides people throughout the region with an awareness of the industry’s varied career opportunities, as well as technical and professional development. Since its inception, the CHTA Education Foundation has awarded over US$2.5 million in scholarships and grants. Interval and its Caribbean shared ownership resort clients have donated approximately US$465,000 to the CHTA Education Foundation for the education of Caribbean nationals.

The following participating member resorts contributed to the CHTA Education Foundation:

o Aruba–Aruba Beach Club Resort, Caribbean Palm Village Resort, Divi Village Golf and Beach Resort, Costa Linda Beach Resort, La Cabana Beach Resort and Casino, La Quinta Beach Resort, Marriott’s Aruba Surf Club, Paradise Beach Villas, Playa Linda Beach Resort, Renaissance Aruba Resort & Casino, and Eagle Aruba Resort & Casino

o Bahamas–Harborside at Atlantis
o Barbados–Ocean Two Resort & Residences
o Bermuda–The St. George’s Club
o CaymanIslands–Morritt’s Tortuga Club and Seven Mile Beach Resort
o Curaçao–The Royal Sea Aquarium Resort
o MexicanCaribbean–Westin Lagunamar Ocean Resort
o Puerto Rico – Aquarius Vacation Club® at Boquerón Beach, Aquarius Vacation Club® at Dorado del Mar, and Azul ESJ Collection

o St.John,USVI–Grande Bay Resort & Residence Club
o St.Kitts–Marriott’s St.Kitt’s Beach Club
o St.Lucia–Bay Gardens Beach Resort and Spa
o St.Maarten–Oyster Bay Beach Resort, The Villas at Simpson Bay Resort & Marina, and The Westin Dawn Beach Resort and Spa

About Interval International

Interval International operates membership programs for vacationers and provides value-added services to its developer clients worldwide. Based in Miami, Florida, the company has been a pioneer and innovator in serving the vacation ownership market since 1976. Today, Interval’s exchange network comprises more than 3,200 resorts in over 80 nations. Through offices in 14 countries, Interval offers high-quality products and benefits to resort clients and approximately 2 million families who are enrolled in various membership programs.