Patricia Affonso-Dass named Caribbean Hotelier of the Year Loop Jamaica

The content originally appeared on: Jamaica News Loop News

Patricia Affonso-Dass is the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association’s (CHTA) Hotelier of the Year.

Affonso-Dass was announced as the winner during yesterday’s CHTA Caribbean Travel Marketplace in Montego Bay, Jamaica.

Affonso-Dass, a former president of the CHTA, was shocked and emotional as she was surprised when her name was displayed on a screen as the winner of the prestigious award.

Patricia Affonso-Dass (centre) holds her award for the Hotelier of the Year surrounded by previous winners. Photo: Dillon De Shong

The Dominica born hotelier joins the company of Sandals hotel chain founder Gordon “Butch” Stewart and respected hotel manager Simón Suárez as winners of the award.

Affonso-Dass is the group general manager of Ocean Hotels, which comprises four properties in Barbados and over 215 rooms.

She has over 28-years of experience in the hotel and tourism industry.

Affonso-Dass is a former president of the Barbados Hotel and Tourism Association and she is credited for her contributions to help amend the Tourism Development Act to recognise tourism as an export industry granting licensed hotel and tourism operators an exemption from the duties and taxes payable for the local purchase or importation of supplies such as alcohol.

Speaking with reporters after receiving the award, Affonso-Dass said she is filled with gratitude and is happy to be recognised by her peers.

“My whole career, I looked up to people who previously won this award. They have been mentors, they have filled me with passion, and to be in that company is truly special,” she said.

Affonso-Dass is one of a few women holding management roles in the global hotel industry.

Her advice to women entering the industry is to “use your voice, speak up, be heard and be present.”

“I think women have an amazing ability to kind of understand family and fellowship. That’s what home is about and that’s what ultimately hospitality is about. So, I think we have an innate advantage and if we use it well there is no stopping us,” she said.