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Jamaica Leads Caribbean Tourism Rebound

08-18-2011 08:36 AM CET | Tourism, Cars, Traffic

Press release from: World Travel Awards

London, United Kingdom, 15 August 2011

Jamaica’s role in spearheading the recovery of the Caribbean’s travel and tourism economy is to be acknowledged by World Travel Awards at a VIP ceremony in Montego Bay in October.

The awards programme, hailed as the ‘Oscars of the travel industry’ by the global media, noted that Jamaica’s growth in visitor arrivals this year is expected to beat 2010’s impressive five percent rise, and comes despite the on-going austerity challenges of key source markets in Europe and North America.

The ceremony, which takes place at Sandals Royal Caribbean Resort & Private Island on 7 October 2011, is set to attract the top decision-makers and thought leaders from across the Americas and Caribbean as they compete for the most influential accolades in travel.

After months of intense voting featuring more than 2,000 organisations, the nominees have been whittled down to the elite few. Categories to watch include “Caribbean’s Leading Destination” with Aruba, Barbados, Bahamas, Jamaica, St Lucia and Turks & Caicos among those competing for top honours.

Meanwhile “Caribbean’s Leading Hotel” sees stiff competition between such iconic properties as Half Moon, A RockResort (Jamaica), Jumby Bay (Antigua), Parrot Cay (Turks & Caicos) and Sandy Lane (Barbados).

Rivalry on a country level is also intense, notably “Jamaica’s Leading Resort”, which sees Beaches Boscobel Resort & Golf Club, Couples Negril, Sandals Grande Riviera Beach & Villa Golf Resort and The Ritz-Carlton Golf & Spa Resort, Rose Hall, all going head-to head.

Graham E. Cooke, President & Founder, World Travel Awards, underlined Jamaica’s ability to come good in adversity.

He said: “Jamaica has proven one of the tourism stars of the global downturn because of its boundless appetite for reinvention – a spirit exemplified by our event host, Sandals Resorts. We are honoured that our ceremony forms part of this iconic brand’s 30th anniversary celebrations.”

“The Caribbean is also capitalising on the tremendous opportunities afforded by BRIC nations, especially with traditional source markets stuttering. However to unlock this potential, accompanying governmental support remains vital, including the easing of restrictions that currently limit intra-Caribbean travel,” he added.

John Lynch, Chairman of the Jamaica Tourist Board, in commenting on Jamaica’s performance said: “In the midst of the global economic challenges, Jamaica’s growth in 2010 is remarkable. We are fortunate to have an unrivalled tourism product offering diverse vacation experiences to the most discerning traveller and this is complimented by a high touch quality service which makes our visitors want to return. Hosting WTA’s Caribbean and The Americas Ceremony will allow us to showcase that we offer an authentic experience which provides value for money.”

Gordon “Butch” Stewart, Chairman of Sandals Resorts, is pleased to once again support Jamaica on the world stage by hosting this year’s World Travel Awards Americas Gala ceremony.

He said: “At Sandals Resorts, we come from the region, we understand the communities, we understand the quality of the beaches and we understand the services and standards that the customer now demands.”

“As we celebrate 30 years of providing luxury vacations that exceed expectations, I can say that we are delighted to showcase those services and amenities to the travel industry once again this year.”

The Caribbean & The Americas Ceremony marks the fifth and final leg of World Travel Awards 2011 Grand Tour, and will follow heats in Dubai, UAE; Antalya, Turkey; Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt; and Bangkok, Thailand. Regional winners from these events then progress to the Grand Final in Doha, Qatar in November.

The event partners are Sandals Resorts and WeClickMedia, while media partners include National Geographic Traveller, eTurboNews, Focus on Travel News, Breaking Travel News, JaxFax and Travel Daily News.

For more info about World Travel Awards 2011 Caribbean & The Americas Ceremony & bookings visit: www.worldtravelawards.com/americas2011

To download images go to www.worldtravelawards.com/downloads/zip/2011jamaica.zip

– Ends –

Notes to Editors

About World Travel Awards
World Travel Awards was launched in 1993 to acknowledge and recognise excellence in the world's travel and tourism industry.

Now celebrating its 18th anniversary, the awards is regarded as the very highest achievement that a travel product could ever hope to receive.

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.

Attended by senior executives from major travel companies, operators and destinations, WTA events are universally respected as providing established, top level networking opportunities, regionally and globally.

Main sponsors include Cornelia Diamond Golf Resort & Spa, Tourism Authority of Thailand, Jamaica Tourist Board, Mauritius Tourist Board, Conrad Hotels, World.mobi, Armani Hotel Dubai, Emaar Hospitality Group, Dusit Thani Bangkok, Sandals Resorts, Sports Authority of Thailand, Savoy Sharm el Sheikh and WeClickMedia.

The World Travel Award's official list of worldwide media partners includes: ABTA Magazine, Breaking Travel News, CNBC Arabiya, eTurboNews, Khaleej Times, Trav Talk, Trade Arabia, TTN, Travel Daily News International, Focus on Travel News, New Focus Travel Magazine, Tourism Review, JAX FAX, Passport Magazine, Travel & Leisure China and National Geographic Traveller.

About the Jamaica Tourist Board
The Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB), founded in 1955, is Jamaica’s national tourism agency based in the capital city of Kingston. The JTB was declared “Caribbean’s Leading Tourist Board” by World Travel Awards from 2006 to 2010. Also in 2010, Jamaica earned the WTA’s vote for “World’s Leading Cruise Destination”, “Caribbean’s Leading Destination” and “Caribbean’s Leading Cruise Destination” for the fourth consecutive year. Additionally, Montego Bay was named “World’s Leading Beach Destination”, Ocho Rios was named “Caribbean’s Leading Cruise Port” and Sangster International Airport was voted “Caribbean’s Leading Airport”.

JTB offices are located in Kingston, Montego Bay, Miami, Toronto and London. Representative offices are located in Düsseldorf, Barcelona, Rome, Amsterdam and Tokyo.

Jamaica, easily accessible via non-stop flights from many major gateway cities, is 146 miles long with mountainous peaks soaring to 7,402 feet (2,256 meters), higher than any in the eastern half of North America. Jamaica features over 120 rivers, stunning waterfalls and white sand beaches. Jamaica’s accommodations range from luxury resorts to charming cottages and inns, all focusing on top-notch service. The destination includes restaurants to fit any taste and price point. A year-round vacation destination, some of Jamaica’s diverse activities include hiking the Blue Mountains, bird-watching, championship golf, award-winning festivals, caving in the Cockpit Country, zip-lining, horseback riding, cliff diving, rainforest bobsledding, deep sea fishing, bicycle tours, dog-sledding, dolphin and shark encounters and more.

For details on upcoming special events, attractions and accommodations in Jamaica go to the JTB’s web site at www.visitjamaica.com, or call the Jamaica Tourist Board at 1-800-JAMAICA (1-800-526-2422). Follow the JTB on Facebook at www.facebook.com/visitjamaica, on Twitter at www.twitter.com/visitjamaicanow or on YouTube at
www.youtube.com/aboutjamaicajtb.

World Travel Awards serves to acknowledge, reward and celebrate excellence across all sectors of the global travel and tourism industry.

World Travel Awards
Momentum House
Lower Road
London SE1 8SJ
United Kingdom
Tel +44 (0) 20 7925 0000
Fax +44 (0) 20 7925 2552

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