CHTA's Frank Comito Steps Down From Trade Association Leadership Role

Frank Comito has stepped down as CEO and director general of the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA) after guiding the association through the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, several devastating hurricanes and numerous global challenges affecting the region's top industry. Comito’s transition comes at the conclusion of nearly 40 years of service to local and regional private sector organizations in the Caribbean.

As part of his transition away from serving at the helm of CHTA, the executive voiced his pleasure that CHTA’s leadership had endorsed Vanessa Ledesma’s assuming the post of acting chief executive officer and director general, effective from January 1, 2021. Comito lauded Ledesma, who formerly served as chief operations officer, for her skills, experience, integrity, deep passion for CHTA and the industry, and her extensive professional relationships built with confidence over two decades while working with CHTA.

In a message to members, Comito, who will serve as a part-time special advisor to the organization, said he was proud of how quickly and effectively CHTA adapted over the past 10 months, working in collaboration with public and private sector stakeholders to address the COVID-19 pandemic and the many challenges critical to recovery efforts which, he assured, would hasten the Caribbean tourism sector’s recovery.

He added that COVID-19 remained a critical concern, and declared the industry needs CHTA, its regional public sector ally, the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO), and local private and public sector tourism associations and entities working together towards the industry’s recovery now more than ever.

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 organization and address several longstanding challenges the organization was facing. Having successfully tackled most of the issues, as well as others which were not anticipated, he is moving on to pursue other personal and professional goals while also continuing to support CHTA. During his term, Comito improved communication with members and raised CHTA’s and Caribbean tourism’s public profile by embracing consumer, trade and social media as well as digital communications platforms.

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