Fri | Sep 22, 2017

Jamaica cops Leading Caribbean Destination at World Travel Awards

Published:Monday | September 19, 2016 | 9:00 AM
Minister of Tourism, Edmund Bartlett (second right) flanked by (from left) Director of Tourism, Paul Pennicook; Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Tourism, Jennifer Griffith; and chairman of the Jamaica Tourist Board, John Lynch, pose with the awards received by Jamaica at the Caribbean and North America World Travel Awards at Sandals Ochi Resort on Saturday night

WESTERN BUREAU:

Jamaica copped the prestigious Caribbean's Leading Destination title at the World Travel Awards at Sandals Ochi Beach Resort on Saturday night.

The Jamaica Tourist Board was voted best in the region, so was the Ocho Rios Cruise Ship Port, during the glitzy Caribbean and North America Gala Ceremony attended by over 300 hoteliers, destination management companies, transportation and tour operators.

Jamaica's tourism stakeholders walked away with the greater number of awards, outpacing the rest of the region.

"The expenditure we receive from tourism is now more than arrivals. This means the value proposition is where it ought to be," tourism minister Edmund Bartlett told the gathering, adding that value is what the customers need.

Among the Caribbean winners were Turks and Caicos, recognised as the Caribbean's Leading Beach Destination, while the trophy for the Caribbean's Most Romantic Destination went to Antigua & Barbuda.

Luxury-included resort company, Sandals Resorts International (SRI), topped the region, pulling in 15 awards and demonstrating its continued commitment to excellence of the brand, copping the coveted Caribbean's Leading Hotel Brand title for the 23rd consecutive year.

"We continue to invest in our product so that each year we can be proud to say we are the Caribbean's leading hotel brand," said Gordon Butch Stewart, chairman of Sandals Resorts International.

"Our number-one priority remains to provide the best possible products and experiences for our customers, and we look forward to continuing to do so."

 

TRUE CELEBRATION

 

Excited about the event's return to Jamaica, World Travel Awards president Graham Cooke said: "This has been a true celebration of tourism here in the Caribbean and North America and it has been a pleasure to recognise some of the leading lights of the industry here tonight."

The leading lights he spoke about include Montego Bay's Half Moon, which took home three trophies - Jamaica's Leading Spa Resort; Jamaica's Leading Conference Hotel, and the Caribbean's Leading Conference Hotel.

The exclusive Round Hill was named the Caribbean's Leading Villa Resort and Jamaica's Leading Hotel, while Kingston's Spanish Court took home the trophy as Jamaica's Leading Business Hotel.

For the sixth consecutive year, Caribbean Airlines emerged as the 'Caribbean's Leading Airline', a feat the carrier's head of corporate communications, Dionne Ligoure, described as an affirmation that they are providing the value their customers demand.

Other Jamaican companies recognised on Saturday night were Go Jamaica Travel, Caribbean's Leading Tour Operator; Jamaica Inn, Caribbean's Leading All-Suite Hotel; Dolphin Cove, Caribbean's Leading Adventure Tourist Attraction; GoldenEye, Caribbean's Leading Boutique Resort.

While, the Montego Bay Convention Centre, Sangster International Airport, and Club MoBay all received top honours.

janet.silvera@gleanerjm.com