THE Government of St. Lucia, through the Ministry of Tourism, has designed and is ready to implement a Tourism Awards Programme for our nation. Indeed, the programme is well in keeping with its mantra: Putting People First.
From the knowledge I have about the programme, I can detect that the programme was well conceptualized. The Ministry has used Mount Gimie to set the standards for the awards programme.
Mount Gime is the highest mountain peak among the chain of mountains in our beautiful ‘Fair Helen.’In fact I learnt that from Primary School several decades ago.
I look at the programme with the eyes of an educator. And in Educational programmes, whether it is in English Language, Mathematics or the Sciences, there is a set of standards by which performance could be measured. And I firmly believe that the participants of that programme would do well to visit Mount Gimie, perhaps from a distance to have a good look at the Mountain Peak, to satisfy themselves that there is a prevailing standard to be met!
But the most critical part of the Tourism Awards programme is the fact that it is people oriented. Recognising and awarding the organizations, groups and individuals who make things happen in the industry.
In his budget address Tuesday, 25th April, the Prime Minister informed the nation that St. Lucia had experienced an economic growth of 18% in 2022. Which is extremely good considering the position at which St. Lucia stood, economically, prior to 2022.
I am very sure that that economic growth could not have happened without the full cooperation and participation of interest groups in the tourism industry. And it is only fair that those groups be recognized for their valiant performance.
Now, evaluating performance is no easy matter. The primary purpose of a performance to provide an equitable measurement of an employee’s contribution to the workplace, the workforce or, in the case of tourism, an industry. Emphasis would be placed on the organizational performance, marketing, customer service, and product quality.
Indeed, I have been stressing standards in this article which will allow the assessor to measure performance. Now in the case of the Gimies Awards, that was,in fract, done.
I followed the programme on Choice Television and was very happy with what I heard and saw. There was in fact a set of criteria or standards or guidelines, if you would prefer, provided to the organizations, groups and individuals participating in the awards. And those were announced together with the awards.
The following are the Awards and the recipients:
INDEPENDENT RESTAURANT OPERATOR OF THE YEAR – The Gimie went to Orlando’s Restaurant and Bar. I wish to congratulate the organization on receiving the award.
WEDDING EVENTS AND PLANNER OF THE YEAR – The Gimie went to Awesome Caribbean Planners. Congratulations are in order for the organization.
DESTINATION MANAGEMNT COMPANY OF THE YEAR – The Gimie went to Barefoot Holidays. I wish to congratulate the company on that achievement.
LAND BASED TRANSPORTATION BUSINESS OF THE YEAR – the Gimie went to Hibiscus Tours St. Lucia. Congratulation to Hibiscus Tours on that achievement.
MARINE BASED TRANSPORTATION BUSINESS OF THE YEAR – The Gimie went to Hackshaws Boat Charters. Congratulations to the Hackshaws.
SITES AND ADVENTURE BUSINESS OF THE YEAR – The Gimie went to Rain Forest Adventures. Congratulations to the organization on that achievement.
Collection De Petites PROPERTY OF THE YEAR – The Gimie went to Sunny Palm Villas. Congratulations to Sunny Palm on the achievement.
SMALL HOTEL OF THE YEAR – The Gimie went to Fond Doux Resort. Congratulations to the organization on that achievement.
MEDIUM HOTEL OF THE YEAR – The Gimie went to – The Landings Resort and . Congratulations to the resort on receiving the award.
LARGE HOTEL OF THE YEAR – The Gimie went to Sandals Grande St. Lucia Spa and Beach Resort.
Special Awards were also offered
THE ROMANUS LANSIQUOT AWARD – The Soufriere Regional Development Foundation. Congratulations to the foundation.
SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS & CONSERVATION PRACTICE AWARD – The Fond Doux Eco Resort. Congratulations, once again, to the management of Fond Doux Resort.
DESTINATION AWARD – The award went to Hotel Chocolat. Congratulations to Hotel Chocolat on that achievement.
TOURISM EDUCATION AND TRAINING AWARD – The Gimie went to Sandals Resorts in St. Lucia. Congratulations once more to Sandals in St. Lucia.
SOCIAL PARTNERS IN TOURISM AWARD (Minister of Tourism Award) – The award went to Sandals Resorts in St. Lucia. Congratulations one more time to Sandals Resorts in St. Lucia.
In his very brief address, Prime Minister, Hon. Philip J. Pierre insisted that St. Lucia has the potential to be the best destination in the World. We all agree!
Persons in the Tourism Industry who has passed were remembered in a beautiful and meaningful song.
LAND BASED TRANSPORTATION EMPLOYEE OF THE YEAR – Award went to Wilton Jeremie. Congratulations to Wilton.
MARINE BASED TRANSPORTATION EMPLOYEE OF THE YEAR – The award went to Davidson Eugene of Hackshaws Charter. Congratulations to Davidson on this individual achievement.
SITES AND ADVENTURES EMPLOYEE OF THE YEAR – The award went to Pontion Simon. Congratulations to Pontion on this individual achievement.
INDEPENDENT EMPLOYEE OF THE YEAR – The award went to Ali Florton. Congratulations to Ali on this Individual achievement.
INDEPENDENT TOUR GUIDE OF THE YEAR – The award went to Jasmine Jn. Marie. Congratulations to Jasmine on this individual award.
CRAFT AND SOUVENIR RETAILER OF THE YEAR – The award went to Andrew Mondesir (Craft Sculptor). Congratulations to Andrew on this individual award.
PORT EMPLOYEE OF THE YEAR – The award went to Kervin Martial. Congratulations to Kervin on this individual award.
OUTSTANDING EMPLOYEE – The award went to Erine Beaubrun. Congratulation to Erene on this individual award.
Collection De Petite SMALL HOTEL OF THE YEAR- The award went to Westly Alexander. Congratulation to Westly on receipt of this award.
I would like to apologize for any errors and or omissions.
In conclusion, I would like to congratulate the Ministry of Tourism, the St. Lucia Tourism Advisory Council and the St. Lucia Hotel & Tourism Association for collaborating and presenting an excellent package of the first ever Tourism Awards Ceremony: The Gimies.
Judging from the standards that have been set this year, I anticipate a fierce competition next year and the years beyond.