THE Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA) has appointed Frank Comito, former Executive Vice President of the Bahamas Hotel and Tourism Association (BHTA), as its CEO and Director General.
Mr Comito, a hospitality and tourism industry veteran who has spent most of his life in The Bahamas, will take up the post on March 9.
“Frank Comito brings a wealth of knowledge and insight to CHTA, most recently as Executive Vice President of the Bahamas Hotel and Tourism Association (BHTA) and other tourism-related organisations,” said Emil Lee, president of CHTA. “Besides contributing towards the development of The Bahamas’ hotel and tourism industries he helped develop the landscape for individual Caribbean hotel associations during his volunteer presidency of the Caribbean Society of Hotel Association Executives (CSHAE), the regional association for our 32-member national hotel associations. We are confident that CHTA will continue to grow and gain influence as the voice for the Caribbean hospitality industry under Frank’s leadership.”
Mr Comito will work to raise CHTA’s profile as the leader for the Caribbean hospitality industry and help to develop a strategic plan for the association that serves the needs of its membership, comprised of over 600 hotels and 300 allied members. He replaces Jeff Vasser, who stepped down as CEO/Director General at the end of last year.
During Mr Comito’s ten-year term with the BHTA he was responsible for guiding and managing the organisation’s range of activities in advocacy, business development, workforce improvement and organisational development. He brings to his new role over 30 years of experience in economic development, organisation management, government affairs, project management, workforce development, research and analysis and providing business and investor support in the Bahamas, US Virgin Islands, United States and the Caribbean.
Mr Comito currently serves as an officer and member of the Board of Directors for the Downtown Nassau Partnership, where he has been a leader and key contributor since 1998. He has championed revitalisation efforts of historic downtown Nassau, including guiding public and private sector stakeholder work, master planning, implementing product improvements, development of public policies, fundraising and stakeholder engagement.
Before that he was the Executive Director for the Nassau Tourism Development Board, where he worked collaboratively with public and private sector stakeholders to implement a range of product improvements funded jointly by both sectors. He also held the position of Deputy Chairman of the Board for the Airport Authority and the Nassau Airport Development Company, where he helped guide the $410m redevelopment of Lynden Pindling International Airport.
He has held positions as Director of Development for the National Alliance of Business in Washington, DC, Executive Director of the St Croix Chamber of Commerce and special projects manager for the St Thomas-St John Chamber of Commerce.
As President of CSHAE for three years, Mr Comito represented CHTA’s member national hotel associations’ interests in various capacities, including advocacy. He developed and implemented annual leadership workshops for the region’s association executives. He is a co-founder of the Caribbean Society for Organisation Management, which guided regional training programmes for managers and executives for Chambers of Commerce throughout the Caribbean.
The CHTA recognised Mr Comito as an Association Executive of the Year in 2006 and under his stewardship the BHTA also received the 2013 award from the International Society of Hotel Association Executives for the most outstanding education and training initiatives by a hotel association.