Industry Partners Recognized in Annual Awards Event
BASSETERRE, 21st November 2013:This past Saturday, November 16, St. Kitts celebrated excellence in its tourism industry partners with the 13th Annual St. Kitts Tourism Experience Awards event that recognized individuals and businesses who positively impacted the development of the industry over the past year.
The St. Kitts Experience Awards were once again held at Carambola Beach Club and attracted a large number of attendees, among whom were: Minister of Tourism & International Transport, Senator the Honourable Ricky Skerritt; the Honourable Marcella Althea Liburd, MP, JP, Minister of Health, Social Services, Community Development, Culture and Gender Affairs; and the Honourable Attorney-General Jason Hamilton along with other government officials; members of the St. Kitts Tourism Authority; numerous individuals representing St. Kitts’ private sector tourism product; members of the local media and professionals from related service sectors.
The Awards, which were themed “The Power of Vision,” were presented following a cocktail reception and were presided over by the evening’s Master of Ceremonies, Ms. Unoma Allen. The National Anthem was sung by the Clarence Fitzroy Bryant College Chorale Ensemble and the Invocation delivered by Canon Isaiah Phillip of St. Peter’s Anglican Church, followed by a dance performance by The Aces inspired by the event theme. Following that, Minister Skerritt provided welcomed remarks and the Awards ceremony’s guest speaker, Head of Commercial – Gatwick at British Airways, Mr. Colm Lacy, was introduced by the CEO (Ag.) of the St. Kitts Tourism Authority, Mrs. Carolyn James. Mr. Lacy delivered the keynote address, discussing the air carrier’s operations, the UK APD tax and other timely topics related to tourism and aviation in the Caribbean.
“British Airways is confident of gradual growth in tourism to the Caribbean from the UK,” Mr. Lacy said. “We are finding new and innovative ways to market to the UK consumer – across all distribution points. However, it is crucial that we all continue to work together to be a success. We should focus on the quality and value of the products and experiences we provide, use innovative collaborative marketing and pay attention to pricing.”
During his speech Mr Lacy also said: “Minister Skerritt and the St. Kitts and Nevis team are to be praised for their collaborative approach to make growth possible and sustainable.”
A gift of thanks showcasing St. Kitts was presented to him before he left the stage. A highlight of the evening for many Tourism Authority personnel, the Secretary of the Board of Directors of the St. Kitts Tourism Authority, Mrs. She Dore-Tyson, presented individuals who were celebrating ten years of service to the organization with engraved glass awards in honor of their milestone anniversaries.
Immediately thereafter, the highly anticipated St. Kitts Tourism Experience Experience Awards were presented by the St. Kitts Tourism Authority’s North American officers Mrs. Patrice Henry (New York) and Mr. Brad Richards (Canada). The first award of the night was the People’s Choice Award, which was won by Mr. Michael Glasford as a professional individual with knowledge of the tourism industry who strives to exceed customer expectations.
Two Awards of Excellence were presented for an individual or business demonstrating best practices in tourism service, which went to Kendra Jacobs of American Airlines (individual) and to the St. Christopher Air and Sea Ports Authority (business). The Environmental Award for businesses practicing sustainability through responsible practices and raising community awareness was given to the Parks and Beaches Unit.
The Kittitian Experience Award, honoring a local business that provides visitors with an experience showcasing Kittitian culture, was earned by the St. Kitts Visitor Channel. Furthermore, the National Champion Award was bestowed upon Mr. Konris Maynard for his partnership with stakeholders to continuously promote and develop the island’s tourism industry and the Employee of the Year Award for an individual in the hotel or restaurant sector demonstrating exceptional quality of work beyond the call of duty was attained by Joycelyn Nisbett of the Ocean Terrace Inn.
The final two awards of the night recognized an individual or business with many years of service in tourism who serves as a role model for others through a pioneering spirit and willingness to “give back” to the industry. These were earned by taxi and tour operator Mr. George Scarborough (individual) and by the airline partner bringing the highest numbers of visitors to the destination, American Airlines.
All winners of the St. Kitts Experience Awards were nominated for the recognition and competition was strong from among their peers. The Awards ceremony is a unique cultural evening experience combining entertainment, networking and culinary enjoyment. Taking place on an annual basis, the Awards are part of the St. Kitts Tourism Authority’s efforts to elevate service standards within the desitnation’s hospitality industry and to encourage the development of more authentic, world-class visitor experiences to enhance St. Kitts’ competitive position in the regional and global tourism marketplace.