Annual World Travel Awards Gala Ceremony 2000

18 August 2000 – Montego Bay

Montego Bay

As guests were ushered to their tables in the Rose Hall Ballroom, the breathtaking beauty of the setting and decor was almost overwhelming. The stage, with two large video screens to ensure that no one missed a moment of the on-stage action, was the focal point of what can only be described as a spectacular extravaganza. Hosted by the irrepressible Jimmie JJ Walker and the beautiful and charismatic Sheryl Lee Ralph, the entertainment began with a stunning display of dancing from L'Acadco, Jamaica's premier dance troupe.

Then came the delicious four-course dinner, as much a feast for the eyes as for the taste buds, with mouthwatering delicacies wrought into artworks by the Ritz-Carlton's master chefs. After the first of the awards had been presented, Kool and the Gang's J.T. Taylor performed an irresistible string of chart-topping songs that brought guests singing and dancing to their feet. It was a brilliant set that hit just the right note and, with hosts who knew just how to generate the maximum excitement, the guests' eyes were glued to the stage. After some great gags from comedian John Lampert, and some memorably powerful songs from Sheryl Lee Ralph, the stage was then set for the presentation of some of the most sought-after World Travel Awards.

Las Vegas won several awards but, in that fantastic Caribbean setting, it was the news that Jamaica had scooped a whole clutch of awards that brought the most deafening roars of approval from everyone. With Air Jamaica, Half Moon, Sandals, Ritz-Carlton, Round Hill, the Jamaica Tourist Board and Jamaica itself all winning awards, the joy of our Jamaican hosts was unbridled. And when the special award for travel personality of the millennium was given to Butch Stewart, Sandals founder and inspiration to all in the industry, the applause could have lifted the roof.

Only one artist could possibly have carried the night to an even higher level of excitement - and when Gloria Gaynor took the stage, the cream of the world's travel industry were on their feet and groovin' to the music within seconds. In a night where excellence was the keynote, the Ritz-Carlton Jamaica's food and hospitality tangibly heightened the wonderful sense of occasion on this Gala Awards night. For the 7th time, World Travel Awards clearly demonstrated that the travel industry is the most exciting and cutting-edge business in the world - and that it really knows how to have fun!


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