NEWTOWN SQUARE, PA – Alex Zozaya, Executive Chairman of Apple Leisure Group (ALG), was honored with the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award at the Caribbean Hotel & Resort Investment Summit (CHRIS+HOLA Connect) on September 9, 2020. This prominent award is presented to an individual who has made significant contributions to the hospitality industry over their lifetime through their actions, deeds and great accomplishments.
Karen Whitt, First Vice President of the Caribbean Hotel & Tourism Association (CHTA) and Vice President of Sales and Marketing for The Hartling Group, presented the award to Zozaya during an online interview that was broadcasted via the CHRIS Conference virtual edition. In the words of Whitt, being recognized by colleagues and piers among the greatest executives in the travel and tourism industry today makes Zozaya the perfect choice for the CHRIS Lifetime Achievement Award. “The previous recipients of this award have been major players in the industry; I am deeply honored to be this year’s recipient, even if we are unable to meet in person,” said Zozaya.
In the interview conducted by Whitt, Zozaya emphasized the importance of establishing and maintaining strong partnerships during times of crisis, such as the one 2020 has presented. “It is crucial that all the players in the sector perceive each other as colleagues and partners; my competitors’ value proposition and best practices contribute as much as mine to endorse our segment and strengthen the value chain.” Zozaya also identified collaboration and consistency as keywords to address the challenges that our industry is facing. “It is indispensable to develop a global coordinated message where private and public sectors join efforts to address the confusion that many of our customers are experiencing. Coordination among countries and a common language will be decisive to our recovery.”
Whitt spoke of the importance to recognize a leader who has had an impact on someone else’s career besides his own. This speaks to a commitment to mentor and develop talent in the industry, which becomes relevant if you think that the ultimate goal of hospitality is to meet someone else’s expectations, one of the hardest aspirations in life, that most definitely requires passion and grit to succeed.
Zozaya’s outstanding contributions to international hotel business have garnered numerous industry accolades, including recognition as “Hotelier of the Year” by Alta Hoteleria, for which he received the distinguished Diamante Award. CNN Expansion magazine also ranked him among the “100 Most Important and Influential Business People in Mexico,” and in December 2019, the Dominican Republic Hotel and Restaurant Association (ASONAHORES for its acronym in Spanish) recognized him with the “Dominican Tourism Champion” award for his unwavering commitment to strengthen the country’s tourism industry.
Thanks to his unmatched understanding of the tourism industry, Zozaya has held key roles on diverse tourism organisms. In February 2018, he was named Vice President of the Mexican National Council of Tourism Companies (CNET for its acronym in Spanish), main organization representing the private tourism sector in the country. In August 2018, he joined the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) Executive Committee as Vice Chairman for Latin America and the Caribbean.
In August 29, 2019, after six years as CEO and 20 years participating in the many stages of the company’s trajectory, Zozaya transitioned into the Executive Chairman role at ALG, one that allows him to continue to play a strategic role in the company’s expansion. His current goal is to successfully transition the group from a regional to a global, well-established player. “Our arrival in Europe had very good pacing, and I would like to apply the same strategy in Asia.”