Melia Braco Village, the 'best of the best'
Jamaica's economic prosperity message revolves around the success of the island's tourism industry, Prime Minister Andrew Holness has revealed.
Speaking at Melia Braco Village's 'Best of the Best' reception in Trelawny on Sunday night, Holness pegged his hopes on the industry, which he says will take Jamaica to the 'promise land'.
Melia Braco, after a mere nine months of operation, was recognised as the Caribbean's Leading New Resort at the 2016 World Travel Awards, held last Saturday night at Sandals Ochi Beach Resort.
Pointing out the trickle-down effect of the tourist industry, Holness referenced the potential it has on agriculture, manufacturing, transportation and the service sectors.
He recognised Jamaica's greatest asset as its people, even while urging stakeholders that work must be done to double tourist arrivals and revenue from the industry. In 2015, the island welcomed some 3.7 million stopover and cruise ship visitors.
"We have not scratched the surface of the potential of tourism growth," he stated, adding that Melia Braco Village was a good representation of the Government getting best value for its investment.
The resort is owned by the National Investment Fund (NIF) and operated under the Melia brand.
The government minister with responsibility for the NIF, Shahine Robinson, said she was confident that the prestigious recognition was just the beginning of more to come.
Minister of Tourism Edmund Bartlett also a recipient of the World Travel Awards for his outstanding contribution to the industry, cited the quality of service at Melia Braco as what the reason for copping the honour.
"Service represents 60 per cent of the total value of the service the visitor expects, and this is what sets Jamaica's enviable reputation of repeat business," said Bartlett. Forty-two per cent of Jamaica's business comes from repeat visitors.
"With Melia's high-class, high-touch service, it will continue to win awards," Bartlett predicted.
The hotel's general manager, Dimitris Kosvogiannis, credited his team, who he described as relentless, defatigable and consummate professionals, delivering world-class service with passion and without hesitation.
"It's not a job. It is an intoxicating drive," he stated, adding that this was an award that underscores the belief that "whatever we set our minds to do, it is possible".
Melia Braco Village shared the spotlight with several other Jamaican entities, including the Montego Bay Convention Centre, which was named the Caribbean's Leading Meetings and Conference facility; Rock House Hotel, the Caribbean's Leading Boutique Hotel; Montego Bay, which copped the Caribbean's Leading Home Port, and Island Car Rentals, recognised as the Caribbean's Leading Independent Car Rental Company.