Sandals sweeps World Travel Awards

Observer writer

Monday, September 24, 2018

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MONTEGO BAY, St James — Sandals Resorts International (SRI) were the big winners at the 25th anniversary World Travel Awards Caribbean & North America, sweeping a whopping 10 awards, including the coveted Caribbean's Leading Hotel Brand, Caribbean's Leading Luxury All-Inclusive Resort, Caribbean's Leading Honeymoon Resort, Caribbean's Leading All-Inclusive Family Resort, and Caribbean's Most Romantic Resort, at a star-studded gala held at Sandals Montego Bay on Saturday night with representatives from the finest travel brands in attendance.

The win follows on the heels of the resort chain's sweep of the Travel Trade Gazette Awards 2018 held at the Lyceum Theatre in London recently, where it claimed the top-three prizes — Travel Company of the Year, Hotel and Resort Operator of the Year, and On the Road Hero, which was awarded to Neil Read, business development manager at SRI.

Island Routes Adventure Tours, which is also part of the Sandals Group, walked away with the award for Caribbean's Leading Adventure Tour Operator.

“We are extremely humbled, honoured and delighted to be recognised by the World Travel Awards,” Sandals Resorts International Deputy Chairman Adam Stewart later told the Jamaica Observer.

“Sandals Resorts is committed to never settling, never sitting still, but to continue raising the bar and setting trends for the luxury all inclusive industry. From 5 Star Global Gourmet® dining, Love Nest® Suites and worldwide marketing to promote this region more than any other company, Sandals continues to invest not only in its infrastructure and amenities but also in our Caribbean people.”

Added Stewart: “Being named the Caribbean's Leading Hotel Brand is a testament of our commitment and that of our entire team who provides our guests with memorable experiences every day.”

The World Travel Awards attracts a global audience and Saturday night's event was a flawless production.

“I lift my hat, not only to our internal Sandals team but also our local entertainment fraternity partners — from lighting and décor to the variety of talented performers, orchestra, dancers and vocalists — all Jamaicans, who graced the stage showcasing their immeasurable talent, diversity and the capability of our Jamaican people. This is a true indicator of tourism and entertainment linkages at work,” said Stewart.

Other big wins on the night included Jamaica copping the Caribbean's Leading Destination, Caribbean's Leading Cruise Destination, Caribbean's Leading Cruise Port, Caribbean's Leading Home Port, and Caribbean's Leading Tourist Board.

Sangster International Airport topped the Caribbean for Leading Airport, the Montego Bay Convention Centre snagged the Caribbean's Leading Meeting and Conference Centre, and Jamaica Inn was voted Caribbean's Leading Luxury All Suite Resort.

Winners also included Turks & Caicos taking home the Caribbean's Leading Beach Destination; the Cayman Islands got Caribbean's Leading Dive Destination; Coco Reef Resort & Spa in Tobago walked away with the Caribbean's Leading Hotel; and the Palms Turks & Caicos picked up Caribbean's Leading All Suite Hotel.

The World Travel Awards, dubbed the “Oscars in Tourism”, were founded in 1993 and is an international jury of hospitality peers and experts, mainly from the World Travel and Tourism Council. Awards are decided on and presented to hotels and other hospitality companies on both the world and regional level in a wide range of categories.


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