St. Kitts holds 8th Annual Tourism Awards banquet

Basseterre, St. Kitts – Continuing to focus on achieving sustainability in developing the island’s tourism product, St. Kitts has just concluded its annual Tourism Month with a special Awards Banquet held on Saturday, November 1, 2008.

Over 300 local tourism industry stakeholders and guests gathered at the 8th Annual Tourism Awards ceremony to honor businesses and individuals who have made significant contributions to St. Kitts’ tourism over the past year. Keynote addresses were given by St. Kitts & Nevis’ own Prime Minister the Hon. Dr. Denzil L. Douglas and special guest speaker Marco A. Roca, Senior Vice President of Wyndham Worldwide.

Both speakers warned of challenging times ahead for the industry in the short term, but expressed confidence that the relative newness and the natural assets of the St Kitts product will continue to attract excitement in the market for the destination even during difficult times.

“The Tourism Awards ceremony is a particularly significant event for St. Kitts because it allows us to recognize those who share our commitment to the growth and development of the island’s tourism industry,” said Mrs. Rosecita Jeffers, Chief Executive Officer of the St. Kitts Tourism Authority. “Each outstanding achievement makes an important contribution to the whole as St. Kitts’ tourism product continues to grow and prosper, becoming part of daily life for more and more of our citizens.”

The 8th Annual Tourism Awards Banquet was organized by the St. Kitts Tourism Authority and served as the conclusion of St. Kitts’ annual Tourism Month. The Tourism Awards Banquet serves to recognize the outstanding efforts of various island businesses and individuals from both the public and private sectors as well as to encourage the creation of uniquely Kittitian visitor experiences and distinctive service elements that serve to enhance the island’s competitiveness in the global marketplace.

Robert S. Kelly, former Director of the New York office of the St. Kitts Tourism Authority, was presented with a Special Recognition Award along with a gift from the St. Kitts & Nevis Hotel & Tourism Association in appreciation of his dedicated service to St. Kitts’ tourism for more than twenty years. Musical entertainment for the evening was provided by the Royaltiez Band while poetry and dance added further cultural elements. The event was held at the St. Kitts Marriott Resort.

St. Kitts’ Tourism Month is a series of special events and activities held each October with the purpose of increasing public awareness of the importance of tourism to St. Kitts and the various opportunities for individuals in the industry. Tourism Month has grown in importance over the years, as the island has shifted its focus from sugar production to tourism and other service-oriented business as the main economic driver.

This year’s Tourism Month activities largely targeted the island’s youth and included a four-day Workshop for small- to medium-sized businesses, an internship program for secondary students, a Tourism Month slogan competition and many more.

Tourism Awards winners

Tourism Partner of the Year – American Airlines

Hotel of the Year
– Ottley’s Plantation Inn

Restaurant of the Year
– Mr. X’s Shiggidy Shack

Outstanding Cruise Partner of the Year
– St. Kitts Scenic Railway

Outstanding New Business of the Year
– Red Sail Sports

Most Creative Business of the Year
– Royal St. Kitts Hotel & Casino’

Taxi Service Award of the Year
– Raphael Liburd

Steward of Our Heritage of the Year
– Victoria O’Flaherty

Steward of the Environment of the Year
– Greg’s Safaris

Economic Linkage Promoter of the Year – Farmer’s Co-operative Society Lts.

* – Special Recognition Award Robert S. Kelly

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