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Kingston, Jamaica: December 10, 2012 – Mystic Mountain and Pierre Battaglia of Couples San Souci took the coveted National Champion awards for 2011 in the organization and individual categories respectively, at the recently held Tourism Service Excellence Awards Ceremony. They were selected from a group of 12 of the island’s top tourism workers and 13 leading organizations who vied for the awards for excellent service delivery under the Tourism Service Excellence Programme (TSEP) being administered by the Tourism Product Development Company (TPDCo).
In commending the awardees and finalists during the awards ceremony at the Ritz Carlton Golf and Spa Resort in St. James, Minister of Tourism and Entertainment, the Hon. Dr. Wykeham McNeill said “Jamaica’s tourism successes to date are all hinged on being able to improve on service excellence. The Tourism Service Excellence Awards is a part of the government’s efforts towards achieving this greater goal.”
Apart from the National Champions, there were organizational and individual resort area champions as well. Winning for the tourism capital Montego Bay, was Laurel Scarlett-France of The Ritz Carlton; while Mr. Battaglia was the winner for Ocho Rios. Negril’s Winston Bartley of Hedonism II emerged on top, with Maudrie Swaby-Rose of Wyndham Hotel and Barrington Steer of the Jamaica Union of Traveller’s Association, JUTA tying for Kingston. Jeffrey Burke of Sandals Whitehouse won for the South Coast.
Sandals Montego Bay took the prize for the Montego Bay resort area in the organization category. Mystic Mountain won for the Ocho Rios resort area, GeeJam won for Portland, while Sandals Whitehouse won for the South Coast. From the Negril resort area Rondel Village took the top prize, with The Courtleigh Hotel winning the award for Kingston.
In addition to the main awards special recognition awards were presented to Marie Matthews, former coordinator of the Tourism Service Excellence Programme, who has helped to guide the development of the Tourism Service Excellence Awards; and to 84-year-old Robert Stone of Sandals Montego Bay for some 50 years of unbroken service to the tourism industry.
Guest Speaker, US Ambassador to Jamaica, Her Excellency Pamela Bridgewater, lauded Jamaica’s art, cuisine and natural beauty, which she said all contribute to making an excellent tourism product. She said “I think the returning visitors find service excellence and that makes for a repeat visitor, as it is this attribute that makes the product outstanding.”
In congratulating the winners and finalists, Chairman of TPDCo, Maxine Henry-Wilson, said “the awards truly represent the best of our people within the industry who interact with our visitors and who create moments of truth in which visitor expectations are surpassed.”