Jamaica Gleaner

23 October 2011 - Jamaica Gleaner

Tourism Minister Ed Bartlett (centre) and Director of Tourism and Chairman of the Jamaica Tourist Board John Lynch (right) accept one of the destination's 23 awards from Graham E. Cooke, president and founder, World Travel Awards, during the 2011 World Travel Awards Caribbean & The Americas Gala on October 19.

Tourism Minister Ed Bartlett has described Jamaica's dominance of last Wednesday's World Travel Awards Caribbean & Americas Gala ceremony as "payback" for the hard work that the country has been doing in promoting the destination and its tourism product overseas.

Speaking after Jamaica copped several top awards at the ceremony, which was held at the Sandals Royal Caribbean Hotel & Private Island in Montego Bay on October 19, Bartlett said, "As the leaders of the sector, we are humbled to be rewarded by the global tourism community for the energy and hard work which the team has done over the past year." He added that "the fact that the energy and the vision have resulted in Jamaica leading the Caribbean in terms of not only implementing an economic-recession survival strategy, but to be earning multiple world awards, brings a sense of satisfaction."

Jamaica won the Caribbean's Leading Destination award for the sixth consecutive year, while the Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB) won the Caribbean's Leading Tourist Board award for the fifth consecutive year. The destination was also named the Caribbean's Leading Cruise Destination and was recognised for having the Caribbean's Leading Cruise Port (Ocho Rios), the Caribbean's Leading Beach Destination (Negril), the Carib-bean's Leading Airport (Sangster International Airport), and the Caribbean's Leading Meetings & Conference Centre (Montego Bay Convention Centre, Jamaica). Jamaica also received the Caribbean Achievement Award and was also named the Caribbean's Leading Sports Tourism Destination, while the new Port of Falmouth was named the Caribbean's Leading Tourism Development Project.

Bartlett expressed pleasure that local hotel mogul and chairman of Sandals Resorts International, Gordon 'Butch' Stewart, walked away with the Tourism Pioneer Award.

Director of Tourism John Lynch said the awards reaffirmed that the "tireless efforts" to promote destination Jamaica, coupled with continued growth and refurbishment of the country's tourism infrastructure, have proven to be a successful strategy for the destination.

In commending the local tourism entities which also won awards, Bartlett emphasised that "Jamaica remains a very attractive destination and the country's performance and that of our resorts and partners at these awards have proven once again that our country will continue to see good results in terms of arrivals, guest satisfaction and, indeed, new developments."

Several of Jamaica's resorts and travel partners were also recognised, including the following:

1.
Caribbean's Leading Adventure Excursion Operator: Dolphin Cove
2.
Caribbean's Leading All-Suite Hotel: Jamaica Inn
3.
Caribbean's Leading Boutique Hotel: Rockhouse Hotel
4.
Caribbean's Leading Boutique Resort: Golden Eye
5.
Caribbean's Leading Luxury Villa: The Fleming Villa at Golden Eye
6.
Caribbean's Leading Villa Resort: Round Hill Hotel & Villas
7.
Jamaica's Leading Boutique Hotel: Strawberry Hill, Island Outpost
8.
Jamaica's Leading Business Hotel: Spanish Court Hotel, Kingston
9.
Jamaica's Leading Car Hire: Island Car Rentals
10.
Jamaica's Leading Golf Resort: Half Moon, Montego Bay
11.
Jamaica's Leading Hotel: Sandals Negril Beach Resort & Spa
12.
Jamaica's Leading Resort: Sandals Grande Riviera Beach & Villa Golf Resort
13.
Jamaica's Leading Spa Resort: Sandals Whitehouse European Village & Spa

Source: Jamaica Gleaner

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