Joe Issa knew since he was 11 years old that he wanted a career in the resort business. Now, at age 31, he is SuperClubs’ senior vice president. The all-inclusive group has seven properties in Jamaica, one in the Bahamas and three in Cuba. They cater to active singles, couples and families-all with different vacation budgets.
Issa had a great head start in the business since his father, John, created Jamaica’s first all-inclusive hotel in 1976 – the Negril Beach Village – which went on to become SuperClubs’ Hedonism II in 1981.
Having his family to guide him didn’t make Issa a slouch by any means. “I spent many years going through the whole gamut of the hotel business – from cleaning bedrooms and waiting tables to being a front-office manager, and eventually becoming general manager of two hotels – Sans Souci Lido and Couples, both in Jamaica,” he says.
Super Clubs had a monopoly on Jamaica’s all inclusive resorts 20 years ago, when the concept was a novelty, “but now there they are so many all – inclusives, we’ve become a commodity and much more price-competitive,” says Issa. “The strength of a brand name chain like SuperClubs will determine one’s further success in this industry. SuperClubs has different resort products catering to different markets.”
While the all –inclusive business continues to grow, Issa says the key to expanding should be handled without jeopardizing a company’s financial stability. “We’re financially conservative, which allows us to maintain our business through thick and thin.”
Issa is also an achiever on other levels. In 1994, he was the first Jamaican to be chosen as the Young Hotelier of the World by the International Hotel Association. He also holds a CPA, and was valedictorian and a Phi Beta Kappa student at the College of Holy Cross in Worcester, Mass.
Source: Travel Agent