Basseterre, St. Kitts, May 24, 2016 (SKNIS): The 2016 St. Kitts Tourism Experience Awards, held under the theme “Celebrating Excellence Changing Lives,” recognised a number of individuals and businesses, who represent the very best in the tourism industry.
At the May 21 event, held at Carambola Beach Club, Minister of Tourism, Honourable Lindsay Grant, said that the over achievers have often gone above and beyond the call of duty according to their job descriptions to ensure that St. Kitts is providing only the best experience possible to visitors and simultaneously to residents.
“I cannot stress enough how important it is that we continually strive for excellence in this business as it is the memory of the experience that we provide that will ensure that people will keep returning to those restaurants, to those hotels, to the shops, the activities providers and in fact in our island overall,” said the minister.
The tourism minister said that in the travel and hospitality market place today, research overwhelmingly indicates that consumers are placing greater importance on experiences. Visitors want to understand what it is about a destination that makes it special and unique.
“They no longer want sand, sun and sea,” said the minister. “They are increasingly looking to be enriched in some particular way by their destination of choice. They want to explore beyond their hotels. They want to be immersed in their local culture, they want to sample our culinary experiences and creations made with locally sourced ingredients that they might not have tasted before. They want to interact with the locals and learn what it truly means to ‘lime’.”
Minister Grant said that these are the types of experiences the country needs to provide “if we want people to choose to come to our destination instead of another.” He added that “fortunately we are well positioned to provide just such experiences as these which consumers are now demanding.”
The minister said that St. Kitts and Nevis are blessed with an “unspoilt lush natural landscape, a rich heritage and a time honoured tradition and most important of all, we have the most welcoming, genuinely friendly people.” He added that this however is not enough.
“We must continually and consistently strive for excellence to improve upon the experiences that we provide as competitive destinations around the world are striving to do the very same thing that we are striving to achieve,” said Minister Grant.
The awardees are as follows:
- Kittitian Experience Award
- Achievement of Excellence Award – Business
- Achievement of Excellence – Individual
Oneil Mulrain – Rainforest Guide
- Pillar of the Industry Award – Individual
Larry Armony – Brimstone Hill
- Pillar of the Industry Award- Business
- Sustainable Tourism Award
St. Kitts Eco Park
- National Champion
- The People’s Choice Award
- Employee of the Year
Mary Pemberton – Caribelle Batik
- Minister’s Award Category
Diannille Taylor- Williams