It was glitz and a whole lot of glamour on Saturday night as well over 400 of the industry’s finest gathered in Antigua for the Caribbean and North America Gala Ceremony, where the World Travel Awards recognized the best of travel destinations in the region for the year 2013.
Among the guests of honour were Antigua and Barbuda’s Governor General Dame Louise Lake-Tack and Prime Minister Dr Baldwin Spencer and other government ministers and members of parliament. They were joined by a host of owners, presidents and managers from premier companies around the region.
Headlining the Caribbean awards was TCI’s Grace Bay Beach, which took the title of Caribbean’s Leading Beach Destination; the Regent Palms Resort and Spa, which was voted leading spa resort in the TCI and leading spa resort in the Caribbean; and Beaches TCI Resort Villages and Spa for the Caribbean’s leading all inclusive family resort.
The awards were accepted by Althea Been, from the Office of the Premier; Karen Whitt, general manager of the Regent Palms; and Gordon “Butch” Stewart, chairman, Sandals Resorts International.
Premier Rufus Ewing, on his return from the UKOTA meeting in Gibraltar, commented, “This is an extremely proud moment for us as Turks and Caicos Islanders, residents and investors alike. We were recently voted as second in the best beach destination in the world by TripAdvisor’s Travelers Choice 2013, and winning the World Travel Award for the Caribbean’s leading beach destination further solidifies our position as the number one in the region.
“Congratulations to all of our nominees for being recognized for your efforts and to the management and staff of the Regent Palms and Beaches Resort on your victory. As a government we stand with you and all our other hoteliers and tourism partners, we are committed to continuously improving our tourism product and these accolades are a testament to the fact that our Turks and Caicos Islands are truly ‘Beautiful by Nature.’”
While not all victorious, leading establishments in the Turks and Caicos were nominated in several categories. Among them were VIP Flyers Club, Providenciales International Airport, nominated for Caribbean’s Leading Airport Lounge; Point Grace, nominated for Caribbean’s leading all suite hotel; Parrot Cay and Point Grace, both nominated for Caribbean’s leading boutique hotel; The Veranda, nominated for the Caribbean’s leading boutique resort; while Beaches, Grace Bay Club, Parrot Cay and Point Grace were among the nominees for the Turks and Caicos leading hotel; Amanyara, Beaches, Club Med Turkoise, Gansevoort, Grace Bay Club, Parrot Cay, Seven Stars, The Alexandra and the Regent Palms were the nominees for the Turks and Caicos leading resort, and Beaches, Gansevoort, Grace Bay Club, Parrot Cay, Point Grace, Seven Stars, Regent Palms and Villa Renaissance were nominated for the Turks and Caicos Leading Spa Resort.
The award for the Caribbean’s leading destination was copped by Jamaica, while the Caribbean’s leading hotel brand once again went to Sandals Resorts International.
The World Travel Awards, dubbed the Oscars of the travel industry, is celebrating its 20th anniversary and is acknowledged around the world as the ultimate travel accolade. Its coveted Globe Trophy celebrates brands and countries that are committed to consistency in excellence in their products and services.
Graham Cooke, president and founder, World Travel Awards said, “These award winners continue to serve as an example of the most luxurious and innovative brands,” adding, “Tonight’s recipients strive to set the highest possible bar to raise the standards of excellence in travel and tourism.”