It was a night of celebration as the Grenada Hotel and Tourism Association (GHTA) hosted its inaugural Gala Awards to recognise the excellence and dedication of people within the industry.
The event which took place at the Grenadian by Rex Resorts on April 7 was attended by Minister for Tourism and Civil Aviation, Dr. Clarice Modeste-Curwen, Grenada Tourism Authority Chief Executive Officer, Patricia Maher, GHTA Board of Directors, hoteliers and other stakeholders.
Awards were presented in seven categories that highlight the diverse careers within the tourism industry including chef, hotel employee and bartender of the year.
The event also reinforces the importance of human resources to the success of the industry.
The following are the list of awardees:
· Tour Operator of the Year – Simon ‘Mandoo’ Seales – over 30 years in the business
· Bartender of the Year – Leslieann Williams – Calabash Luxury Boutique Hotel
· Chef of the Year – Janice Edwards – Mt. Cinnamon Grenada Resort
· Tourism Employee of the Year – Johanna Kostka – Sunsation Tours – 35 years in operating a tour guide business
· Hotel Employee of the Year – Shanell Joseph – Mt. Cinnamon Grenada Resort
· Hotel Supervisor of the Year – Shirlyn Williams – Calabash Luxury Boutique Hotel-20 years service in the industry
· Long Service and Loyalty Award (presented by Tourism Minister) – Leroy Donald – Head Gardener at Coyaba Beach Resort – over 30 years of service
Delivering the keynote address of the night was Grenada’s Ambassador to the United Nations, Dr. Angus Friday who focused on the rapidly growing sustainable development agenda, which he noted would soon become a six (6) trillion dollar industry.
Ambassador Friday suggested to the gathering that the Pure Grenada Brand has further potential as it relates to sustainable development.
“We can take the brand even further by developing a low carbon future in Grenada and resilient products and services that are ingrained into tourism and other aspects of the Grenadian economy”, he said.
He noted that coming off of Grenada’s continued excellence at the Chelsea Flower Show, “we need to think about greening our roadways and sidewalks”.
“We can utilise the debushing programme to plant flowers and shady trees to make this a reality”, he remarked.
The Grenada Hotel and Tourism Association is hoping to make the Gala Awards an annual affair to recognise the people who make valuable contributions to the industry.