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Jamaica sweeps 2010 World Travel Awards

Published:Wednesday | November 10, 2010 | 12:00 AM

Jamaica copped several prestigious awards at the grand final of the 2010 World Travel Awards held at London's Grosvenor House hotel on November 7, among them being the world's leading cruise destination, and Montego Bay being voted the world's leading beach destination.

Hailed as 'The Oscars of the Travel Industry' by the Wall Street Journal, the World Travel Awards also recognised Sandals Resorts as the world's leading all-inclusive company, Beaches Negril as the world's leading family all-inclusive, the Round Hill Hotel and Villas as the world's leading villa and Island Routes as the world's leading Caribbean attractions company.

Jamaica's sprint star Usain Bolt also won the coveted Face of Travel Award, beating the likes of Arnold Schwarzenegger, David Beckham, Kevin Spacey, Rafael Nadal, Kevin Costner and Iron Maiden's Bruce Dickenson at the glitzy ceremony.

The world's fastest man was celebrated for his involvement in the destination's 'Once You Go You Know' ad campaign and its role in boosting Jamaica's tourism profile. This helped position Jamaica to win an award which acknowledges the celebrity endorsement that has made the biggest contribution to the travel and tourist industry over the past year.

Premier destination

In celebrating Jamaica's success, Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett said, "I am a proud man, for Jamaica has not only captured the imagination of the world as a premier destination, but the world has seen that our performance merits its reward. These seven awards that have been attained by the destination and stakeholders will inspire us to offer even greater services to our clients."

"Being voted the Caribbean's leading destination is a major endorsement for Jamaica," said John Lynch, director of tourism, "but to be voted as a world leader in these categories, speaks volumes for the quality of the product and service we offer. We are elated with the awards and we offer hearty con-gratulations to our private-sector partners who have helped to shape that distinct Jamaican product."

A star-studded night, the World Travel Awards is regarded as the highest achievement that a travel product could ever hope to receive, with 183,000 travel professionals casting their votes, including travel agencies, tour and transport companies and tourism organisations in more than 162 countries across the globe.

Committed to raising the standards of customer service and overall business performance of Jamaica in the tourism industry, Bartlett and Lynch collected awards on behalf of the destination, while the individual awards were accepted by the respective Jamaican tourism partners.

The World Travel Awards grand final marked the climax of a year-long search to find the very best travel companies in the world, and follows heats in Dubai, Johannesburg, Antalya, Delhi and Jamaica.