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Tourism going right for Jamaica – Allen

Published:Sunday | November 17, 2019 | 12:00 AMAlbert Ferguson - Gleaner Writer
Mayor of St Ann’s Bay Michael Belnavis and Vana Taylor (centre), president of the St Ann Chamber of Commerce, accept the Best Resort Town award from Copa Airlines’ Nicole Cunningham.
Gary Allen, CEO of the RJRGLEANER Communications Group.
Guardsman Hospitality Group’s Laura Heron (fourth right) presents the Best in Nightlife award to Hedonism II’s Kevin Levee (left) and his team.

Western Bureau:

Gary Allen, chief executive officer (CEO) of the RJRGLEANER Communications Group, says that tourism is one of the things currently going right with Jamaica and, as such, the media communications group is delighted to help in the celebration of its success.

Addressing Friday night’s glitzy fifth staging of the RJRGLEANER Communications Group’s Hospitality Jamaica Awards at the Montego Bay Convention Centre in St James, Allen hailed Jamaica’s tourism industry for its pivotal role in projecting and promoting Jamaica in a positive light.

“Our group recognises the vital role that the hospitality sector, and especially the tourism industry, plays in our country, in our economy and in the lives of tens of thousands of our Jamaican people,” said Allen.

“We consider it a duty in our group to highlight the happenings in the sector on a consistent basis, which is why every other Wednesday we have the Hospitality Jamaica feature in The Gleaner publication. It is even more significant this year, as The Gleaner celebrates 185 years of service to Jamaica,” added Allen.

Allen said that he was delighted to have been able to celebrate the fifth staging of the awards with members of the hospitality industry, led by Tourism Minister Edmund Barrett, who was honoured with the RJRGLEANER Hospitality Pioneer Award for his sterling leadership and contribution to building the industry.

“We also consider it our responsibility to pause, to salute outstanding achievements in the sector. Indeed, very often, if you consume all the information around you, whether in social media or traditional spaces, you can get the impression that so much is going wrong and so little is going right,” said Allen.

“So we [the RJRGLEANER Communications Group] paused from time to time to celebrate things that are going right in Jamaica, and in tourism, we have a lot that is going right in Jamaica,” added Allen.

Full list of 2019 awardees:


Best All-Inclusive over 300 rooms – Sandals South Coast

Best All-Inclusive under 300 rooms – Royalton Blue Waters

Best EP Hotel – Half Moon

Best Business Hotel – Courtleigh Hotel and Suites

Best Small Hotel – Sandy Haven

Best Boutique Hotel – Round Hill Hotel and Villas

Best Eco/Sustainable Hotel – Jamaica Inn

Best Hotel Launch of the Year 2019 – S Hotel

Best Attraction – Jamwest Motorsports and Adventure Park

Best Cultural Experience/Tour – Joy Spence Appleton Estate Rum Experience

Best Tour Operator – Go! Jamaica Travel

Best Kept Secret – The Blue House Bed and Breakfast

Best Resort Town – Ocho Rios

Best Cuisine – Couples Swept Away

Best in Nightlife – Hedonism II

Best Event of the Year – Reggae Sumfest

Purveyor of the Year – Caribbean Producers Jamaica

Special Award for Investment in Tourism – RIU Ocho Rios