Frank Comito has stepped down as chief executive and director general of the Caribbean Hotel & Tourism Association (CHTA).
During his tenure he led the association through the Covid-19 pandemic, several devastating hurricanes and numerous global challenges impacting the industry.
The transition to new leadership comes at the conclusion of nearly 40 years of service to local and regional private sector organisations in the Caribbean.
In a message to members, Comito, who will serve as a part-time special advisor to the organisation, said he was proud of how quickly and effectively CHTA adapted over the past ten months, working in collaboration with public and private sector stakeholders to address the Covid-19 pandemic.
He added that Covid-19 remained a critical concern, and declared the industry needs CHTA, its regional public sector ally, the Caribbean Tourism Organisation (CTO), and local private and public sector tourism associations and entities working together towards the industry’s recovery now more than ever.
“Our work has a bottom-line impact on restoring tourism and economies,” he stated.
Looking to the future of Caribbean tourism and CHTA, he voiced optimism that despite the headwinds facing the tourism sector and the association, industry leadership working with local and regional tourism associations will address immediate needs, mitigate the impact of the Covid-19 crisis, and help to steer a course to the future.
Comito was hired by CHTA six years ago when he made a five-year commitment to help refocus the organisation and address several longstanding challenges the organisation was facing.
The leadership of the CHTA had endorsed Vanessa Ledesma in assuming the post of acting chief executive officer and director general.
Formerly chief operations officer with CHTA, she has been noted for her skills, experience, integrity and deep passion for the industry.