PRESS RELEASE – THE Saint Lucia Tourist Board (SLTB) held its Gala Awards Dinner on Thursday, September 21 at the Trunkwell House, Reading, UK. The event hosted over 100 guests, with Minister for Tourism, Dominic Fedee; High Commissioner to the UK, Guy Mayers; SLTB Executive Chair Agnes Francis; SLHTA President, SanovnikDestang; and SLTB marketing officials in attendance.
The Gala provides a platform to award the top producing trade partners across ten categories, ranging from destination marketing to sales and bookings. The awards programme helps foster deeper trade partner ties while encouraging the growth of the UK market.
Minister Fedee spoke to the attendees about the continued expansion of the island’s tourism product and the importance of village tourism in Saint Lucia.
“In addition to hotel developments, my Ministry will create and capitalise on the concept of village tourism. Eight fishing villages will be transformed into unique tourism villages based on their attributes and strengths. These villages will be uniquely themed and development plans will be established in a participatory manner which addresses the villages’ infrastructure, culinary assets, architecture and capacity,” Fedee explained.
The Minister also spoke about the importance of partnerships in building a successful tourism product: “With world-renowned hospitality brands such as Ritz-Carlton, Fairmont and Hilton committing to investing in Saint Lucia with new developments, this shows the strength of what our island has to offer. We have also just agreed to support Hotel Chocolat as it builds a chocolate factory on the existing site. It is the only company in the UK to grow chocolate at its own plantation and we are honoured to be part of their success story.”
Trevor Nelson of BBC Radio 2 was Master of Ceremony for the evening’s festivities with special guests Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Marcell; Les Ferdinand; and members of the Saint Lucian Association also in attendance. The dinner also hosted a benefit raffle with proceeds going to the Saint Lucia Blind Welfare Association.
SAINT LUCIA AWARDS 2017 Runners-up & Winners
1. Product Manager of the Year 2016
• Runner-up: Josh Peacock
• Winner: David Weatherson
2. Tour Operator with the Best Use of Social Media for Saint Lucia 2016
• Runner-up: Tropic Breeze, Caribtours, Kenwood Travel & Tropical Sky
• Winner: Kuoni
3. Tour Operator with the Best Growth to Saint Lucia in 2016
• Runner-up: Trailfinders
• Winner: British Airways Holidays
4. Online Travel Agent (OTA) with the Best Growth to Saint Lucia in 2016
• Runner-up: Booking.com
• Winner: Expedia
5. Luxury Tour Operator with the Best Growth to Saint Lucia in 2016
• Runner-up: Carrier
• Winner: Inspiring Travel Company (ITC)
6. Tour Operator with the Best Growth in Weddings & Honeymoons to Saint Lucia in 2016
• Runner-up: Virgin Holidays
• Winner: Tropical Sky
7. Tour Operator with the Best Growth for Small Hotels in Saint Lucia in 2016
• Runner-up: Caribtours& Stoke Newington Travel
• Winner: Hotels of the Caribbean
8. Tour Operator with the Best Digital Representation of Saint Lucia in 2016
• Runner-up: Caribtours
• Winner: Best At Travel
9. Best Producing Specialist Tour Operator in 2016
• Runner-up: Ramblers
• Winner: MotMot Travel
10. Best Hotel Partnerships in 2016
• Runner-up: (joint) The BodyHoliday& Sugar Beach A Viceroy Resort
• Winner: Cap Maison
Special Recognition for Contribution to the Destination: Virgin Holidays