It was a night of glitz and glamour as the tourism stakeholders exemplifying service excellence and innovation were awarded. The 2019 Tourism Awards took place at the Spice Island Beach Resort on Thursday July 18 under the theme, ‘Celebrating Successes, Looking to a Bright and Sustainable Future.’ The initiative was conceptualized to celebrate the industry’s success by recognizing tourism businesses and stakeholders make significant contributions. The awards criteria included, “length of service, quality of service, feedback (online or otherwise), unique selling propositions, innovative business aspects and other contributions to the sector.
Also recognized during the ceremony were the three recipients of the People’s Tourism Choice Award 2018 chosen from nominations received by the public during Tourism Awareness Month in November. Nominations were accepted from the eight sectors of the Tourism Industry.
Speaking at the ceremony, Minister for Tourism and Civil Aviation Hon. Dr. Clarice Modeste- Curwen thanked all the awardees and stakeholders in general for their contributions to the industry especially following the historic half a million visitors mark achieved last year. She said, “On top of the phenomenal growth last year, up to May 2019, a 4.96% increase was recorded for stayover arrivals while the cruise and yachting sectors are also on the positive side of growth. This continued growth could not happen without the efforts of everyone in the tourism industry and our people.”
Delivering the Keynote address was Acting Secretary General of the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) Neil Walters. Walters. He praised the initiative to ensure that stakeholders were awarded from multiple sectors in the industry. He also stated that because visitors want experiences different from their country, “A whole new frontier has opened up and the only limit is our imagination in the process of turning our normal way of life into an experience we share with visitors to our shores.”
Acting Prime Minister Hon. Gregory Bowen underscored the importance of the industry to Grenada’s economy saying, “If one considers the direct contribution of tourism through sources such as restaurants and accommodation, to the GDP of this country, it is 6%. However, we understand that when we consider the linkages and indirect contributions, that figure grows to 23.3%. This is indeed significant. Therefore, government through the Ministry of Tourism and Civil Aviation is working to maximize the benefits from this industry.”
Receiving the Minister’s Special Achievement award was Sir Royston Hopkin K.C.M.G, the Managing Director of the Spice Island Beach. Sir Royston’s contributions to tourism spans over 3 decades and continues till present and he and his family have build the Spice brand into a world recognized luxury brand. Sir Royston graciously accepted the accolade and encouraged citizens to invest in developing quality products and offerings.
The following are the list of awardees:
People’s Tourism Choice Awards:
Allison Caton, Isle of Reefs Tours (Tour Operator)
Esther Boca, Esther’s Bar (Food & Beverage)
Christopher Mc Donald, (Tour Guide) – Caribbean Horizons Tours
Food and Beverage-Bogles Roundhouse Restaurant, Carriacou
Transportation-National Taxi Association
Accommodation- Petite Anse Hotel
Adventure Tourism and Recreation – SPECTO, Leatherback Turtle Nesting Tour
Events- Spice Island Billfish Tournament
Attractions- Belmont Estate
Travel Trade- Caribbean Horizons Tours
Sustainability Champion- True Blue Bay Boutique Resort
Cruise Business Development – George F. Huggins & Co. Gda Ltd.
Community Tourism – Mt. Moritz Breakfast
Special Achievement Award-Sir Royston Hopkin K.C.M.G.