Sandals leads Caribbean at World Travel Awards

Sandals leads Caribbean at World Travel Awards

BY HAILE MIKA’EL Sunday Observer writer

Sunday, October 24, 2010

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WHITEHOUSE Westmoreland — Sandals and Beaches resorts on Friday scored high at the Americas Ceremony of this year's World Travel Awards (WTA), collecting an impressive nine awards to underscore its prowess in the tourism industry.

The haul, representing 17 consecutive years of Sandals domination, included:

• Caribbean's Leading Honeymoon Resort & Antigua & Barbuda's Leading Hotel, Sandals Grande Antigua

• Jamaica's Leading Hotel, Sandals Negril

• St Lucia's Leading Hotel, Sandals Regency La Toc

• St Lucia's Leading Resort, Sandals Grande St Lucian

• Bahamas Leading Spa Resort, Sandals Emerald Bay Great Exuma

• Cuba's Leading Resort, Sandals Royal Hicacos

• Jamaica's Leading Resort, Sandals Whitehouse

• Caribbean's Leading Family All-Inclusive, Beaches Negril

• Caribbean's Leading Hotel Brand, Sandals Resorts International

Sandals’ founder Gordon ‘Butch’ Stewart was elated.

"This is testimony to how a professional and driven team can work together and become number one worldwide,” he told the glitzy ceremony held at the Sandals Whitehouse European Village & Spa in Westmoreland.

“We come from the region, we understand the communities, we understand the quality of the beaches, and we understand the need for services and standards that the world now demands,” he said.

“In a period of economic stress, customers are still the most important factors and we must ensure that everyone gets more than they expected when they purchased their holiday package. My heart is filled with emotion and joy as this is the 17th year in a row.

“Thanks to an amazing team and also to our returning guests who have helped to spread the word of Sandals internationally,” he said.

The awards, the recipients of which were determined by the online votes of thousands of industry professionals and consumers worldwide, helped distinguish Jamaica as one of the biggest winners on an evening which was celebrated in style with the 28-piece Jamaica Symphony Orchestra and the legendary Boney M.

Rapper Mr Plenty More and New York-based comedian Frantz Casseus completed the entertainment package.

The awards for the “Caribbean's Leading Cruise Destination”; “Caribbean's Leading Tourist Board” as well as the highly coveted title of “Caribbean's Leading Destination” all went to Jamaica.

“The level of competition here in the Caribbean has been exceptional,” said Graham E Cooke, WTA’s founder and president.

Cooke, who was inducted into the Sandals Hall of Fame by Stewart, said Jamaica in particular has proved the rock of Caribbean tourism.

“By grasping new markets, new investment and new partnerships, the island has created a new form of tourism architecture that thrives come good times or bad. But most importantly it is the blend of a paradise location and superb luxury facilities that make Jamaica such a winner,” he said.

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