Eight Categories of Awards to be presented

Guest Speaker Josef Fortmayr

BASSETERRE, (10th November, 2011) – St. Kitts today announced that President of the Caribbean Hotel & Tourism Association (CHTA), Josef Forstmayer, will be the featured keynote speaker at the island’s 11th Annual Tourism Awards Banquet, which will be held at the historic Brimstone Hill Fortress on Saturday, November 19, 2011.

Forstmayr, Managing Director of Round Hill Hotel and Villas in Montego Bay, Jamaica, assumed the presidency CHTA last year, for a two-year term ending in June 2012. During his tenure Forstmayr hopes to stimulate membership growth, particularly amongst the region’s new larger chain hotels.

Forstmayr also seeks to improve regional linkages between the hotel sector and other Caribbean industries, particularly agriculture, elevate the awareness and international status of Caribbean cuisine, and revive the public and private sector’s regional marketing initiative through the proper funding of the Caribbean Tourism Development Company (CTDC) – a marketing company owned equally by CHTA and the Caribbean Tourism Organisation (CTO).

“We look forward to welcoming Josef Forstmayr as our guest and keynote speaker at our Tourism Awards Banquet this year,” said Minister of Tourism and International Transport, Ricky Skerritt, who is also Chairman of CTO. “As we move forward in our efforts to strengthen local awareness of the value of tourism to our national economy, it is most fitting to feature a speaker who has a firm belief in integrating local communities to support the vision of the tourism industry.”

Forstmayr held the role of president of the Jamaica Hotel and Tourism Association (JHTA) from June 2001 – 2003. He was voted Caribbean Hotelier of the Year by the CHTA membership in 2007 and currently sits on the Board of Directors for the Jamaica Tourist Board.

The Tourism Awards Banquet is one of the highlights of the Annual St. Kitts’ Tourism Awareness Month, bringing together industry stakeholders to celebrate outstanding achievements of various island products and services.

There are a total of eight categories of awards to be presented at the Tourism Awards Banquet, which includes Award of Excellence, Achievement of Excellence, Environmental Excellence Award, Employee of the Year, Legend of the Industry, National Champion and Pillar of Tourism Industry.

The Tourism Awards Banquet is part of the St. Kitts Tourism Authority’s efforts to elevate service standards in the island’s hospitality industry and encourage the creation of uniquely Kittitian visitor experiences and distinctive service elements that enhance St. Kitts’ competitive position in the regional and global tourism arena.

This year Tourism Awareness Month is in November, and a series of special events and activities have been planned with the purpose of increasing public awareness of the importance of tourism to St. Kitts and the various opportunities it affords individuals. Tourism Awareness 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.

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