US$5 million loan from SIDF helps OTI standout as Caribbean leader in sustainable tourism
By: E. Williams
BASSETERRE, ST. KITTS, JUNE 14TH 2017 – A US$5 million loan from the St. Kitts and Nevis Sugar Industry Diversification Foundation (SIDF) in 2013 assisted St. Kitts’ Ocean Terrace Inn (OTI) to stand out in the Caribbean as a leader in sustainable tourism.
OTI was the runner up for the Caribbean Hotel & Tourism Association’s (CHTA) Environmental Sustainability Award.
Chris Ghita, General Manager of OTI accepted the award on behalf of the property at CHTA’s CHIEF (Caribbean Hospitality Industry Exchange Forum) Opening Ceremony on June 2, 2017, at the Hyatt Regency in Miami, Florida.
“Ocean Terrace Inn is extremely proud to receive this top honour, as it reconfirms our positioning to not only be one of the most environmentally sustainable hotels in St. Kitts, but throughout the entire Caribbean,” commented Chris Ghita, General Manager of Ocean Terrace Inn.
“OTI is relentless in the pursuit of initiating and promoting eco-friendly and sustainability awareness amongst our guests, the staff and the community.
Through a multi-faceted campaign that conserves energy and natural resources; reduces waste to minimize pollution and teaches eco-friendly policies in a local school, OTI uses environmental best practices to positively contribute to tourism’s sustainability and operate the resort in a fiscally responsible and economic manner,” a CHTA release quotes Ghita.
Produced by the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA), the Caribbean Hospitality Industry Exchange Forum (CHIEF) is the premier educational forum for Caribbean hospitality and tourism professionals. CHIEF is where the hospitality industry assembles to connect, learn best practices, share ideas, brainstorm creative solutions to current challenges and build relationships. With three educational tracks covering a multitude of relevant topics, from the sharing economy to sustainability, and interactive roundtable and speed networking sessions, this event addresses issues affecting all businesses.
The forum attracts hoteliers, vendors, government officials and industry experts focused on a stronger, profitable and more sustainable industry.
OTI, the intimate 4-star boutique hotel, where the ‘little things’ make all of the difference, was totally renovated in 2015 and offers state-of-the-art amenities, chic public areas, 34 perfectly appointed air conditioned guestrooms and suites with complimentary Wi-Fi, mouth-watering cuisine curated by International Chefs, and a level of personalized service that sets a new standard to the island.
The SIDF loan to OTI – the Federation’s oldest boutique hotel – was given to its parent company, the St. Kitts-Nevis-Anguilla Trading and Development Company (TDC) in 2013 under the leadership of then Prime Minister the Rt. Hon. Dr. Denzil L. Douglas and Minister of Tourism, Sen. the Hon. Ricky Skerritt.
“The loan to the landmark hotel will include substantial improvements to the hotel plant, infrastructure and amenities and the use of state of the art green technology for energy conservation,” said the SIDF in a news release in 2013.
SIDF said the partnership reflects the confidence of TDC and SIDF in the future of the tourism sector as a key component of the country’s economy.
“In making the loan, SIDF is executing one of its purposes of supporting, financing or undertaking the development of new and existing industries, projects or enterprises,” the statement said.
Photo left to right: Frank Comito, CEO and Director General of CHTA, Chris Ghita, General Manager of OTI and Karolin Troubetzkoy, President of CHTA