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Sandals wins big at leading travel awards

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

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Jamaican-owned hotel group Sandals Resorts International swept the Travel Trade Gazette Awards 2018 held at the Lyceum Theatre in London's Covent Garden on Monday night.

Viewed by many as the Emmys of the travel industry, the event saw Sandals holding off competition from the world's leading travel industry bodies such as Thomas Cook, Jet2Holidays, Royal Caribbean International, Beachcomber Tours and Celebrity Cruises to take the three top prizes the coveted Travel Company of the Year Award, Hotel and Resort Operator of the Year, and On the Road Hero, which was awarded to Business Development Manager Neil Read for his outstanding contribution to the Sandals Resorts' sales team.

In the Hotel and Resort Operator Award category Sandals topped companies such as Elegant Hotels Group, Hard Rock Hotels All Inclusive Collection, Palladium Hotel Group, Secrets Resorts & Spas, and Warner Leisure Hotels.

Yesterday, the all-inclusive resort chain owned by Jamaican tourism mogul Gordon “Butch” Stewart, who is also chairman of this newspaper, said the awards add to the long list of accolades which have recognised Sandals Resorts as being the very best in the tourism and hospitality industry.

“Not only has Sandals been voted World's Best All Inclusive Company at the World Travel Awards for 23 consecutive years, the resort chain copped the award for Best All-Inclusive Resort Operator in January 2018 at the Travel Weekly Globe Awards; its 10th win in this category,” the company said in a news release.

“This means that the UK's top two travel trade publications have now nominated Sandals Resorts as their number one,” added the company, which operates resorts across seven Caribbean islands.

The TTG Travel Awards, which celebrate success by showcasing the highest standards within the UK travel trade industry, are widely regarded as being some of the toughest in the business to win, while the annual TTG Awards ceremony is one of the most highly anticipated each year.

The majority of all categories are voted for by travel agents and the travel trade, while the Travel Company of the Year Award is judged by a specialist panel of senior team members from the TTG Media publishing house, along with other travel industry professionals.

“We are absolutely delighted to receive all three awards at this year's TTG Travel Awards, particularly Travel Company of the Year, which is an incredible achievement for the Sandals Resorts brand and for every member of our fantastic team,” the release quotes Karl Thompson, managing director of Sandals Resorts, UK & Europe.

“We are also extremely grateful to all the agents who took the time to vote for us in the Hotel & Resort Operator of the Year category, as we couldn't have done it without the support of the trade,” he added.

This year's winners were presented with their trophies by TTG's Group Editor Pippa Jacks and Managing Director Daniel Pearce, alongside celebrity comedian Alan Carr.

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