Voting under way for 'Hospitality Jamaica' awards
Several of the island's hotels, attractions, transportation companies, and purveyors are vying for the biennial Hospitality Jamaica awards, which will recognise leaders in the tourism sector on November 19 at the Montego Bay Convention Centre in St James.
The finalists were nominated by their clients after an aggressive selection process carried out by The Gleaner's tourism trade publication in September.
Categorised as 'Jamaica's Best of the Best', voting for the awards commenced last Friday, October 7, and ends on Tuesday, October 25, said Hospitality Jamaica's coordinator, Janet Silvera.
According to Silvera, who has led the publication since its inception 12 years ago, the response has been excellent.
"The island's best resorts have been nominated. Very few have not capitalised on the opportunity to showcase what makes them special and why they are in demand," she said.
The most popular categories to receive nominations were the 'Best All-inclusive' over 300 rooms and 'Best All-inclusive' under 300 rooms, with 'Best in Cuisine' and 'Best Small/Boutique' following as close finishers.
"Surprisingly, we only received nominations for five European Planned (EP) hotels, but it is also understandable, with Jamaica becoming more and more of an all-inclusive destination," stated the Hospitality Jamaica coordinator.
The other categories, 'Best in Jamaican Entertainment', 'Best Eco/Sustainable Resort', 'Best Purveyor', 'Best in Transportation', 'Best Attraction', 'Best Business or Conference Hotel', and 'Best in Innovation', received their fair share of nominations.
Silvera said that the awards had seen an increase in the number of nominees for the 'Best Purveyor' category, with companies such as GraceKennedy, Jamaica Broilers, and Caribbean Broilers making the cut.
The other two companies are Caribbean Producers Jamaica and Rainforest Seafoods.
Four newcomers have also entered the field of 'Best Attraction': Ahhh Ras Natango, Black River Safari, Kool Runnings Waterpark, and Jewel Runaway Bay Waterpark.