Caribbean Hotel & Tourism Association Names Richard J. Doumeng the 2009 Caribbean Hotelier of the Year

  • Caribbean Hotel & Tourism Association
  • 01.14.10
St. Thomas hotelier and industry veteran Richard J. Doumeng has been named the 2009 Caribbean Hotelier of the Year by the Caribbean Hotel & Tourism Association (CHTA).

Doumeng was honored with the award on January 10 before an international audience of hospitality and tourism industry leaders at Caribbean Marketplace 2010, hosted at the Puerto Rico Convention Center in San Juan. The Caribbean Hotelier of the Year Award is co-sponsored by Ypartnership and The New York Times.

Doumeng joins the ranks of preeminent lodging executives as the 32nd recipient of the Caribbean Hotelier of the Year, the highest professional honor bestowed by CHTA. Presented annually, this prestigious award recognizes an outstanding hotelier in the Caribbean region for demonstrating excellence in all areas of hotel and resort operations, as well as a commitment to the training and development of staff, to the community and to sound environmental practices. The honor also acknowledges each recipient’s active role in both national and regional issues affecting Caribbean tourism.

During his 15-year career as head of Bolongo Bay Beach Resort in St. Thomas, Doumeng has continued to grow the family-owned beach resort as one of the most popular resorts in the Caribbean, renowned for its friendly staff and personalized guest service. Part of the property's success in providing a superior lodging experience may be attributed to Doumeng’s foresight in pioneering marketing and public relations programs on behalf of Bolongo Bay Beach Resort. Under his leadership, Bolongo was the first resort in the Virgin Islands to partner with a relatively unknown Internet booking engine in 1997 – now one of the Web's pre-eminent mega-portals, Doumeng also spearheaded the resort's destination weddings and events department, resulting in a more than 500 percent increase in group bookings over a four-year period.

To further staff training, Doumeng developed in-house training and incentive programs for management and guest services personnel, building loyalty among staff and exceptional guest satisfaction ratings. He also extended the resort's community development programs to offer career opportunities to local hospitality industry students.

Continuing this long history of community leadership, Doumeng currently serves on the board of the United Way. Previously, he served as vice president, president and as a member of the board for the USVI Hotel & Tourism Association. Additional outreach among local organizations includes: the Project Safe Neighborhoods program; Rotary; high school football and baseball coaching; and Special Olympics. 

The Caribbean Hotel & Tourism Association (CHTA) facilitates the full potential of the Caribbean hotel and tourism industry by serving members' needs and building partnerships in a socially responsible and sustainable manner. CHTA was founded in 1962; it is the voice of the Caribbean hospitality industry for the development of the region in the highly competitive and sophisticated environment of international tourism. Today, tourism is widely recognized as a pivotal industry in the economy of the region – and CHTA functions as the common denominator for this industry in a region of diverse nationalities, languages and styles, identifying mutual problems and marshalling the resources of the active and allied members to devise solutions. CHTA represents all facets of the hospitality industry with more than 725 member hotels and 525 allied members.

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