The Barbados Hotel and Tourism Association (BHTA) has announced the appointment of a new CEO, Ryan Forde, who will officially take up the post on Feb. 13.

With over 12 years of experience in the industry, Forde has held various management positions during that time including sales and marketing manager, group sales manager  and marketing officer at local, regional and international brands. Forde holds a master’s degree in tourism and hospitality from EADA Business School (Barcelona, Spain) and a bachelor’s degree with honors from the Barcelona Business School (UIBS) in international business with a minor in tourism management.

The new CEO is honored to be the first Barbadian to be accepted and graduate from the Elevator Management Trainee program for Hilton Worldwide, where he trained as a manager across multiple brand hotels and departments within Hilton throughout the Caribbean and Latin America.

With a proven track record of successfully delivering on significant marketing projects and sales initiatives, Forde explained that he is up for the challenge of being one of, if not, the youngest CEOs to join the BHTA team and noted that his main mission is to work towards the continuous improvement, growth and success of the Barbados tourism industry.

Chairman of the BHTA, Renée Coppin, said the Association was thrilled and delighted to welcome Ryan as its newest CEO, “Our Board of Directors and members have expressed unanimous delight at his selection. In our 70th year of existence as an association, as a mature tourism destination coming out of a pandemic, we feel it is time for our industry to take fresh guard.

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