Deserving tourism  stakeholders honoured at  awards  ceremony
December 2, 2016
Deserving tourism stakeholders honoured at awards ceremony

Persons who work in the local tourism industry have been encouraged to do their best, as they carry the name of the St Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) on their shoulders.

“…As individuals and providers of service, we have to understand we are the frontline of the industry and ambassadors of the industry and the Vincy product,” said Minister of Tourism Cecil McKie last Saturday, November 26.{{more}}

McKie was at the time addressing those gathered at the French Verandah restaurant at Villa to witness the 2016 Ministry of Tourism, Sports and Culture and the St Vincent and the Grenadines Tourism Authority (SVGTA) awards ceremony. He stated that going forward, stakeholders must commit themselves to doing more to make the industry better.

This, he said, means ensuring that the commitment and discipline is there, hence the importance of recognizing outstanding individuals.

He encouraged persons working in the industry to always aim to do more as the country moves forward.

The Tourism Minister said that persons providing products and services must review these products and services and ensure they are providing what the visitor or client requires and not what they as providers want to give.

“Understand that you have a vital role to play in selling the industry and the destination,” said McKie who added that this year, tourism figures are up once again.

He said that the Ministry of Tourism is encouraged by figures for the first eight months, which show a 6.3 per cent increase in arrivals by air and 5.4 per cent increase in arrivals by sea.

Also addressing the gathering, chief executive officer (CEO) of the St Vincent and the Grenadines Tourism Authority (SVGTA) Glen Beache said that the country can be proud of what was accomplished and what is taking place in 2016.

He noted that three years ago, this country embarked on the introduction of standards and many stakeholders fought against it, but now they have embraced it and are doing well.

“I can say that I would like to thank them, because three years after introduction and discussion and battles, the relationship has grown and there is a better understanding of what we are trying to accomplish,” said Beache.

He noted that standards are important because if a traveller comes here and has a bad experience, the country gets the blame and not the stakeholders.

“…SVG has the most diverse product in the Caribbean and if we don’t appreciate it, no one is going to do it. The stakeholders have worked with us and we appreciate it”, said Beache.

The following awards were presented by the Hotel and Tourism Association: Front Office Person of the Year – Shanna Halbich (sponsored by ECGC); Supervisor of the Year – Roxan Jacobs (sponsored by ECGC); Chef of the Year – Curtis Chase (sponsored by St Vincent Distillers); Bartender of the Year – Volando Harry (sponsored by Hairoun Beer); Housekeeper of the Year – Evadney Dick (sponsored by Bank of St Vincent and the Grenadines); Island Ambassador of the Year – Ken Isaacs (sponsored by the Bank of St Vincent and the Grenadines); Gardener of the Year – Cassius Franklyn (sponsored by Coreas Hazells Inc); Yachting/Boating Operator of the Year – Yohan Little (sponsored by QuickCash Corp); Dive Operator of the Year – Serenity Dive (sponsored by Log Enterprises); Beachcombers Hotel was awarded for 25 years of continuous service in the Hospitality Industry Sponsored by CIBC FCIB.

The SVG Tourism Authority Standard Awards were presented to: Most Outstanding Tour Guide – Elvin Jackson; Most Training Sensitive Restaurant – Mac’s Pizzeria (Bequia), Vee Jays Restaurant (St Vincent); Most Outstanding Taxi Operator – Carlton Ollivierre (Grenadines), Zim Codougan (St Vincent); Most Compliant Short-Term Vehicle Rental – Greg’s Auto Care & Rental Service; Most Compliant Tour Operator – Bamboo Adventures; Most Compliant Accommodation – Rainbow Castle Guesthouse (Grenadines), Seasplash Apartments (St Vincent).

The Ministry of Tourism, Sports and Culture Awards were presented to: Most Improved Community Group – Black Point; Most Outstanding Tourist Site – Rawacou; Media Promotion Award – SEARCHLIGHT; Immigration Officer of the Year – Niasha DeFreitas; Stakeholder of the Year – Daddy’s Tours.

The SVGTA Employee of the Year for 2015 was Lindra Ollivierre, while Karen Lewis was the SVGTA Employee of the Year for 2016.