GIMIES Dubbed Night to Remember

SLTA Chairman Thaddeus Antoine (left) presents award to Fuchen Gabriel, Craft and Souvenir Retailer of the Year

As the flashing lights illuminated the stage, the awardees in the second edition of the GIMIES were beaming with excitement as the majority had received an award for the first time in their lives. From the Craft and Souvenir Retailer of the Year to the Tourism Innovation award, the GIMIES revealed those who work assiduously in their various vocations to add immense value to the tourism product.

The GIMIES –  the Saint Lucia Tourism Awards are  presented by the Ministry of Tourism in collaboration with the Saint Lucia Tourism Authority, Saint Lucia Hospitality and Tourism Association and Tourism Enhancement Fund, in celebration of service excellence in the tourism industry.

As the awards evolve, so too have the many public and private sector partners who contributed to the success of this event:

Gold Star Partner Taiwan along with Ultra-Premium Partners Flow St. Lucia, Courts Ready Finance, Courts Business Solutions, Heineken Saint Lucia, Piton Beer, and Caribbean Metals.

Premium Partners – Bank of Saint Lucia, Saint Lucia Electricity Services, Republic Bank Ltd, Digicel St Lucia, Heineken Saint Lucia, 1st National Bank and Barbay Ltd.

Supporting Partners – UWI Global Campus, Alliance Francais, Harry Edwards Jeweler’s, Bel Jou Hotel, Fond Doux Resort, Calabash Cove St Lucia, Ti Kaye Resort, Landings Beach Resort and Spa, Anse Chastanet Resort, Jade Mountain, Baron Foods, Sugar Beach Viceroy and Sea Spray.

Awardees each received the coveted GIMIE or trophy in recognition of stellar service for their unwavering commitment to excellence. The GIMIES are divided into two categories: individual and organizational awardees.

This year’s winners come from a cross section of the community and embody what makes Saint Lucia unique and a sought-after destination.

Individual Winners

  • Lifetime Award – Carmelita Xavier, CEO of Solar Tour & Travel, My Kind of Travel, and agent for UPS & Aeropost
  • Youth in Tourism – Randy La Fontaine, Owner of Villa Aura & Top Notch Tours
  • People’s Choice – Jn Louis Mathurin, Owner and Tour Guide at Father Nature Adventures
  • Tourism and Hospitality Student of the Year – Tara Gongazue, student at UWI Open Campus
  • Craft and Souvenir Retailer of the Year – Fuchen Gabriel, Owner of 758 Organic Glow
  • Independent Restaurant Employee of the Year – Jonel Duncan, Operations and Marketing Manager at Big Chef Steak House
  • Independent Tour Guide of the Year – Jn Louis Mathurin, Owner and Tour Guide of Father Nature Adventures
  • Port Employee of the Year – Kyle Richards, Cargo Management Systems Officer at SLASPA
  • Marine Based Transportation Employee – Merlika Modeste, Captain at Sea Spray Cruises
  • Land Based Transportation Employee of the Year – Iselma Philip, Tour Supervisor at Hibiscus Tours St Lucia
  • Sites and Adventure Employee of the Year – Sirmarntha Denys, Sulphur Springs Park Tour Guide at SRDF
  • Collection de Pepites Employee of the Year – Whitney Rogers, Operations Manager at Sugarmon Villa
  • Small Hotel Employee – Eustace Augustin, Property and Maintenance Manager at Ladera Resort
  • Medium Hotel Employee of the Year – Magaran Philip, Supervisor at Sugar Beach, A Viceroy Resort
  • Large Hotel Employee – John Jean Baptiste, Lobby Host at Windjammer Landing Villa Beach Resort
  • Special Recognition

Kenneth Phillip, President of Southern Taxi Association for Meritorious Contributions to Tourism Transportation

Patrick Michaud, C and M Touring for Meritorious Contributions to Tourism Transportation

Organizational Winners

  • Tourism Social Impact Award – Sugar Beach, a Viceroy Resort
  • Tourism Education and Training Award – Royalton Saint Lucia
  • Tourism Innovation Award – Cacoa Sainte Lucie
  • Sustainable Tourism Award – Hotel Chocolat
  • Community Based Tourism Organization – Soufriere Regional Development Foundation
  • Wedding / Events Planner of the Year – By Charlie Ltd
  • Destination Management Company- Cox & Company Ltd
  • Independent Restaurant of the Year – Jacques Waterfront Dining
  • Marine Based Transportation Business of the Year – Hackshaws Boat Charters
  • Land Based Transportation Business of the Year – Hibiscus Tours St Lucia
  • Sites and Adventure Business of the Year – Sulphur Springs Park (SRDF)
  • Collection de Pepites Property of the Year – Villa Aura
  • Small Hotel Property of the Year – Hotel Chocolat
  • Medium Hotel Property of the Year – The Landings Resort and Spa
  • Large Hotel Property of the Year – Sandals Grande Saint Lucian Spa & Beach Resort
  • Special Recognition – Gros Islet Vendors Association

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