Jamaica earns a hat-trick at the World Travel Awards
The World Travel Awards results are in and Jamaica has earned a hat-trick, copping awards for the Caribbean’s leading destination, leading tourist board and leading cruise destination.
KINGSTON, Jamaica, Thursday October 20, 2011 – Jamaica has been named the “Caribbean’s Leading Destination” by the World Travel Awards (WTA) for the sixth year running.
The Caribbean island walked off with this honour at the WTA’s Caribbean & The Americas Gala Ceremony 2011 at Sandals Royal Caribbean Resort & Private Island in Montego Bay, last night (Wednesday, October 19).
Jamaica, which has seen its visitor arrivals rise 5.7 percent over the last year, also picked up “Caribbean’s Leading Tourist Board” and “Caribbean’s Leading Cruise Destination” at the VIP gala ceremony, which saw senior tourism figures, captains of industry and international media travel from over 30 nations to attend.
It was also an evening of travel triumph for other Caribbean countries as St Lucia won the coveted title of “Caribbean’s Leading Honeymoon Destination”, while Sir Richard Branson’s Necker Island was voted “Caribbean Leading Private Island”.
In the “Caribbean’s Leading Resort” category, Casa de Campo (Dominican Republic) saw off stiff competition from the likes of Half Moon (Jamaica), Jumby Bay (Antigua), Four Seasons Resort (Nevis) and Sandy Lane (Barbados). Meanwhile Caribbean Airlines picked up “Caribbean's Leading Airline”.
The WTAs were launched in 1993 to acknowledge and recognise excellence in the world's travel and tourism industry. Now celebrating its 18th anniversary, votes are cast by 213,000 travel professionals, which include travel agencies, tour and transport companies and tourism organizations in over 160 countries across the globe. Votes are cast globally by industry professionals in over 1,000 different categories.
Graham E. Cooke, President and Founder of the WTAs, underlined the remarkable resilience of the Caribbean’s travel and tourism economy despite the challenges of the global recession.
He said: “The Caribbean is a textbook example of how the travel and tourism industry can serve an engine for growth, with the ability to steer the region out of one of the most challenging periods in global financial history.”
“It is during times of economic uncertainty that world-class brands come into their own, continuing to reinvent themselves and grow market share – traits all shared by tonight’s World Travel Award winners.”
“Jamaica in particular has proved its credentials as a world-class tourism brand, thanks to its unrivalled mix of paradise beaches, luxury resorts and warmth of welcome. This is reflected in the number of honours won by Jamaica’s top travel organisation at our Caribbean & The Americas Gala Ceremony,” he added.
Jamaica’s Director of Tourism, John Lynch, said: “We’re honoured to be recognized as the ‘Caribbean’s Leading Destination’. Jamaica is committed to providing travellers with an unparalleled experience. We’ll continue to develop our infrastructure and tourism product to ensure we maintain an edge in an increasingly competitive landscape.”
The Caribbean & The Americas Gala Ceremony marked the fifth and final leg of World Travel Awards 2011 Grand Tour, and followed heats in Dubai, UAE; Antalya, Turkey; Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt; and Bangkok, Thailand. The regional winners progress to the Grand Final, which takes place in Doha, Qatar on December 11, 2011.