From a total of nineteen (19) contenders, Conroy Thompson from the Half Moon Hotel in Montego Bay was selected individual National Champion of the 2018 Tourism Service Excellence Awards. The organization national champion was also won by the exclusive resort.
In addition to the main awards of National Champions, another nine tourism workers were selected from the finalists as Resort Area Champions in both the organization and individual categories.
The ceremony which saw its 7th successful staging was held Saturday March 30,2019 at the Montego Bay Convention Centre in St. James. The awards programme, which is the brainchild of Minister of Tourism, Hon Edmund Bartlett has the objective to highlight and reward tourism workers and organizations that have repeatedly gone beyond the call of duty to ensure that the guests are satisfied with their stay. They were also being celebrated for their service contribution to the thriving tourism sector that continues to perform at an impressive standard.
This year, a total of 107 nominations were received, from which 50 were shortlisted as semi-finalists and 19 as finalists. The breakout of the awards for the major categories includes two National Champions and nine resort area champions. An additional five finalists were awarded special awards for outstanding service in their respective areas.
Tourism Minister, Honourable Edmund Bartlett was elated to award these individuals and organizations for their contribution to the growing tourism sector.
“Our goal is to create an experience from the point of arrival at the airports, because the essence of Jamaica is about the value of the promise we make to visitors. The integrity of the promise is that it should be visualized, as our guests rely on us to deliver, and this is usually fulfilled by the workers of the tourism industry.”
The tourism minister continued to say the sector wishes to have a highly skilled work force, hence the reason for creating programmes that are geared at developing the capacity of the workers.
“We want to take care of our people, and for that goal to be realized we created the Tourism Pension Scheme and skills training programmes of the Jamaica Centre of Tourism Innovation. Our workers, through these trainings are able to acquire international certification, making them globally competitive. The high school tourism certification of the JCTI is also getting traction, and to date we have a total of 650 students from 33 secondary high schools partaking in those trainings.”
In addition to the National Champions, the resort area winners for the individual category are Coleen Powell – Gordon of Jakes Treasure Beach, Conroy Thompson of Half Moon Hotel, Yanike Brown of Beaches Negril and Paul Norman of Dolphin Cove. The successful contenders for the organization category are VIP Attractions in Kingston, the Joy Spence Appleton Estate Rum Experience in the South Coast, Half Moon Hotel in Montego Bay, Beaches Negril and Jamaica Inn for the Ocho Rios Region.
The Special Awardees were Kingsley Blake of Round Hill Hotel, Ryan Edwards of Negril Adventure Divers, Michael Hoskins of Caribic Vacations, Lydia-Sheyy Obinim of Ultimate Freedom Bed and Breakfast and Miss T’s Kitchen, from Ocho Rios represented by owner Anna-Kay Tomlinson.
The Tourism Service Excellence Awards was created by the Ministry of Tourism to recognize, reward and showcase tourism organizations and individuals who continually provide excellent customer service within the tourism sector. The programme is in its seventh iteration and is implemented by the Tourism Product Development Company Limited (TPDCo).