Jacmel, Haiti November 4, 2011: Parris Jordan, Managing Director of HVS’ office in the Caribbean is pleased to announce the recent opening of a new center in Haiti that will house the first location of HVS’s HEAT (Hospitality Education and Training) program. After the formal ribbon-cutting, local dignitaries and industry professionals were given the opportunity to tour the facility’s classrooms and various “mock” hotel spaces created to form an authentic hospitality setting for students- some of whom have never visited a hotel. Qualified international instructors working alongside local Haitian aides, who facilitate translation between Creole, French, and English, are another integral component of the HEAT model that has shown to be an immediate success and attracted positive attention from industry constituents locally and worldwide.
According to Jordan, “the goal of HEAT - in Haiti and other countries - is to provide the right skills and knowledge to enable local workers to deliver higher quality service and to capitalize on future tourism developments. By educating the local staff on global ‘best practices.’, HEAT will improve the means by which tourism establishments and communities can gain greater market share by increasing guest satisfaction and, therefore, repeat visitation.”
HEAT focuses on teaching basic fundamentals of service and operations in order to accelerate job-readiness for current and aspiring hospitality workers, which is particularly important for Haiti in light of its re-emerging tourism industry after the earthquake.
“Approximately 500 new hotel rooms are slated to open in Haiti within the next few years, putting Haiti in the top five islands in the Caribbean in terms of new supply growth,” adds Jordan. This first iteration of HEAT, being deployed in Jacmel, Haiti, is made possible by the Yele Haiti Foundation and provides free education to 120 Haitians ranging in age from 18 – 49. Job placement at local hotel and tourism organizations have been secured for 75% of the program’s graduates next spring.
HVS Caribbean is sponsoring its inaugural regional hotel investment conference, CHICOS, November 10-11 in Nassau, Bahamas where HVS President and Founder Steve Rushmore, and the Dean of Cornell University will speak about the importance of hospitality education. Derek Johnson, CEO of Yéle Haiti, will also give firsthand remarks about HEAT and the positive impact it has made thus far in the developing nation.
For further information on HEAT, please go to www.hvs.com/HEAT