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Jamaica Cops Several Accolades in the 23rd Annual World Travel Awards (WTA)
KINGSTON, Jamaica; December 4, 2016: Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett has been bestowed the distinctive award of World’s Leading Personality for Outstanding Services to Travel, at the 23rd Annual World Travel Awards (WTA) Grand Final held in the Maldives, Southern Asia on December 2, 2016. Destination Jamaica and local tourism partners also copped several prestigious awards at the event.
“I am very pleased to receive this award. It is truly humbling to be recognized in this manner at such a major event attended by many of the world’s leading travel and tourism stalwarts,” said Minister Bartlett.
The award is the most prestigious honour in the travel industry each year and is presented to an individual who has made a monumental contribution to the travel and tourism industry. The recipient also had to make a positive, defining impact on the industry, not only over the last 12 months, but over the course of a lifetime.
In making the decision, World Travel Awards President, Graham Cooke shared that their academy met to review suitable candidates and Minister Bartlett’s name unanimously came to the fore.“We are deeply privileged to be able to formally honour and recognize such a pioneering and inspirational man and to present to the global industry an exemplary torch bearer of undisputed industry excellence and a power of good to the world of travel,” said Mr. Cooke.
Minister Bartlett has given over thirty-five years of service to Jamaica, in both the Senate and the House of Representatives. He has represented Jamaica regionally and internationally, and currently chairs the Board of Affiliate Members of the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO). He is the first to serve on the executive of both the public and private sector arms of this esteemed organization.
Jamaica emerged the “World's Leading Cruise Destination” as well as the “World's Leading Wedding Destination.”
Among the awards received by several of Jamaica’s resorts and travel partners were the World's Leading All-Inclusive Company (Sandals Resorts International), World's Leading All-Inclusive Family Resort Brand (Beaches Resorts), World's Leading Caribbean Attraction Company (Island Routes Caribbean Adventures), World's Leading Luxury Hotel Villa (Ian Fleming Villa at GoldenEye), World's Leading New Island Resort (Meliá Braco Village) and World's Leading Villa Resort (Round Hill Hotel & Villas)
Minister Bartlett lauded the destination and local tourism entities on winning several awards. “I am very pleased that destination Jamaica and our local tourism partners continue to be world beaters on the international stage. Their performance has played a significant role in fueling the growth that we are seeing in our sector,” he said.
“We continue to register growth in spite of the challenges. In October we had growth in both arrivals and earnings despite Jamaica suffering a loss of over 8,000 potential visitors due to cancellations during the passage of Hurricane Matthew. During the month of October 2016 the top performing regions were Latin America, recording growth of 26.6% over October 2015 with a total of 2,803 visitors, and Europe recording growth of 10.5%, over October 2015 with a total of 21,870 visitors,” the Minister emphasized.
This is Minister Bartlett’s second World Travel Award in recent times, as he was previously named the “Caribbean’s Leading Personality for Outstanding Services to Tourism” in September of this year.
Minister Bartlett was accompanied by Minister without portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, Hon. Dr. Horace Chang who accepted the award for World's Leading Cruise Destination on behalf of the Port Authority of Jamaica.