Music and hospitality pioneer Chris Blackwell has been honoured at a star-studded gala ceremony in Montego Bay, Jamaica.
The founder of Island Records and Island Outpost was acknowledged with the Lifetime Achievement Award at the World Travel Awards Caribbean & North America Gala Ceremony 2019.
The red-carpet evening, which was hosted at Sandals Montego Bay, marked the opening leg of the World Travel Awards Grand Tour 2019 – an annual search for the finest travel and tourism organisations in the world.
Winners at the ceremony included the paradise island of St. Lucia, which collected Caribbean’s Leading Honeymoon Destination, while Las Vegas fended off stiff competition to emerge as North America’s Leading Destination.
Jamaica was named Caribbean’s Leading Beach Destination and while the Jamaica Tourist Board took the title of Caribbean’s leading Tourist Board.
Guests at the gala event enjoyed entertainment from the acclaimed queen of British soul, Beverley Knight, and the Grammy-nominated reggae vocalist, Etana.
The evening took place on the eve of the 37th edition of Caribbean Travel Marketplace.
Graham Cooke, founder of World Travel Awards, said: “What an incredible evening it has been here at the magnificent Sandals Montego Bay, the home of the Sandals brand, to mark the opening of our 26th annual Grand Tour.
“We have had the privilege of recognising the region’s leading destinations, hotels, resorts, airlines and travel providers and my congratulations to each of them.”
In the hospitality sector, winners included Tobago’s Coco Reef Resort & Spa (Caribbean’s Leading Hotel), Marriott Hotels (North America’s Leading Hotel Brand) and Conrad New York (North America’s Leading Hotel).
The beachside refinement of Rosewood Baha Mar, Bahamas was acknowledged with award for Caribbean’s Leading New Resort.
A relentless drive to innovate helped Sandals to lift the title of Caribbean’s Leading Hotel Brand.
In the aviation sector, Caribbean Airlines was named Caribbean’s Leading Airline, while Sangster International Airport, Jamaica, walked off with the trophy for Caribbean’s Leading Airport and Air Canada was voted North America’s Leading Airline.
Events on the World Travel Awards Grand Tour 2019 include Abu Dhabi (United Arab Emirates), Madeira (Portugal), Mauritius, La Paz (Bolivia) and Phu Quoc (Vietnam).
The regional winners will progress to the Grand Final 2019, which is being hosted in Muscat (Oman) on November28th.
World Travel Awards was established in 1993 to acknowledge, reward and celebrate excellence across all sectors of the tourism industry.
Today, the brand is recognised globally as the ultimate hallmark of quality, with winners setting the benchmark to which all others aspire.
Each year, World Travel Awards covers the globe with a series of regional gala ceremonies staged to recognise and celebrate individual and collective success within each key geographical region.
The gala ceremonies are widely regarded as the best networking opportunities in the travel industry, attended by government and industry leaders, luminaries and international print and broadcast media.