St. Kitts honours outstanding tourism businesses
Minister of Tourism & International Transport Senator Ricky Skerritt (right) presents token to featured speaker Senator Allen M. Chastanet
St. Kitts (October 29, 2010) – On Saturday, October 23, 2010, St. Kitts held its 10th Annual Tourism Awards Banquet for the first time at a premiere tourist attraction and UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Brimstone Hill Fortress National Park.
In his Opening Address for the event, Minister of Tourism & International Transport and recently elected CTO Chairman Senator Ricky Skerritt said, “It is well documented that the tourism industry throughout the region and in St. Kitts & Nevis has been going through an unusually challenging period over the past two years. After what we hope was the lowest point in 2009, tonight we can look forward with hope and cautious optimism as the facts and statistics show that world tourism has slowly begun to rebound.”
The featured speaker was St. Lucia’s Minister of Tourism and Civil Aviation and former CTO Chairman, Senator Allen M. Chastanet, who brilliantly kept the attention of the large audience while he discussed the various challenges facing the Caribbean as the tourism economy recovers. He said, “We are in an industry that is free to move and that’s very competitive. That is why in the Caribbean we have to give the industry the care and support it requires at all levels of Government and society.”
Among those gathered at the 10th Annual Tourism Awards ceremony were tourism officials, local tourism industry stakeholders and related guests. The event served to honor those businesses and individuals who have made significant contributions to the development of St. Kitts’ tourism industry over the past year. This year’s winners are-
1. Tourism Partner of the Year – British Airways
2. Hotel of the Year – Nisbet Plantation Beach Club
3. Restaurant of the Year – Spice Mill Restaurant
4. Cruise Partner of the Year – St. Kitts Scenic Railway
5. Taxi Service Award of the Year – Leonard Herbert
6. Steward of Our Heritage of the Year – Kate Spencer, Kate Design
7. Hotel Employee of the Year – Virgil Williams of Timothy Beach Resort
8. Most Eco-Friendly Business – Kenneth’s Dive Center
9. Most Creative Business – Clay Villa Plantation House & Gardens
The 10th Annual Tourism Awards Banquet was organized by the St. Kitts Tourism Authority in conjunction with the Ministry of Tourism & International Transport. One of the major highlights 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 enhance the island’s competitive positioning in the global tourism marketplace.
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. A Heritage Treasure Hunt, Fashion Show and Marketplace are all activities scheduled as part of Tourism Month this year. 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.