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MINISTER OF TOURISM EDMUND BARTLETT (SECOND FROM RIGHT) WITH (FROM LEFT) DIRECTOR OF TOURISM, PAUL PENNICOOK; PERMANENT SECRETARY IN THE MINISTRY OF TOURISM, JENNIFER GRIFFITH AND CHAIRMAN OF THE JAMAICA TOURIST BOARD (JTB), JOHN LYNCH AT THE 23RD ANNUAL WORLD TRAVEL AWARDS FOR THE CARIBBEAN & NORTH AMERICA.
Jamaica captured the lion’s share of accolades in the 23rd Annual World Travel Awards (WTA) for the Caribbean and North America and stamped its mark as the Caribbean’s Leading Destination.
At the glittering event at Sandals Ochi Beach Resort on Saturday night, the island emerged the Caribbean’s Leading Cruise Destination and the Caribbean’s Best Spa Destination, and was also recognized for having the Caribbean’s Leading Cruise Port (Ocho Rios), the Caribbean’s Leading Home Port (Montego Bay), the Caribbean’s Leading Airport (Sangster International Airport), and the Caribbean’s Leading Meetings & Conference Centre (Montego Bay Convention Centre).
The Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB) was also named the Caribbean’s Leading Tourist Board.
“What we have seen here is a statement that we are on track but it is also a motivation to go further to cop the other awards to make Jamaica the most outstanding destination in the Caribbean in all categories of experience,” said the island’s Minister of Tourism Edmund Bartlett, who also received award and the title of the Caribbean’s Leading Personality for Outstanding Services to Tourism.
Also among the winners was Turks & Caicos Islands, recognized as the Caribbean’s Leading Beach Destination, while the trophy for the Caribbean’s Most Romantic Destination went to Antigua & Barbuda.
Hosts Sandals Resorts International was also honoured on the night, taking the title of Caribbean’s Leading Hotel Brand.
“We are delighted to once again be honoured by the prestigious World Travel Awards,” said Gordon ‘Butch’ Stewart, Chairman of Sandals Resorts International.
“We continue to invest in our product so that each year we can be proud to say we are Caribbean’s Leading Hotel Brand. Our number one priority remains to provide the best possible products and experiences for our customers, and we look forward to continuing to do so.”
In addition to Minister’s Bartlett award, another special award for Outstanding Contribution to Corporate Social Responsibility Projects was given to Sandals Foundation. In total, Sandals won 15 awards.
The WTA was established in 1993 to acknowledge, reward and celebrate excellence across all sectors of the tourism industry. Today, the brand is recognized globally as the ultimate hallmark of quality, with winners setting the benchmark to which all others aspire.