For the twelfth consecutive year, the Belize Tourism Board (BTB) has awarded the country’s finest establishments of the travel industry with top honours during the National Tourism Awards.
The reception was held on Saturday May 18, 2013 on the secluded Bannister Island, which is two miles from the Belize Barrier Reef and nine miles east-southeast of Belize City. At the ceremony, stakeholders of the tourism industry from all locations were able to indulge in local food made by chef Sean Kuylen and treated to animated music by a few talented Belizean artists.
The Belize Tourism Awards happens every year and features the best of Belize, from boutique hotels that wowed tourists, restaurants that produced tantalizing cuisines (see my favourite restaurants), and the many dedicated frontline personnel who captured the hearts of many travellers.
The winners of the 12th annual National Tourism Awards follow:
Frontline Person of the Year
Natalie Ranguy of Chabil Mar Resort won the award of Front Line Person of the Year. This honour goes to an individual who always puts the happiness of visitors and their experiences, before themselves. It is usually given to individuals such as bartenders, servers, and front desk staff.
Tour Guide of the Year
Dive Master Jerome Williams of Huracan Diving won the award for Tour Guide of the Year. This award is given to a tour guide that demonstrates exceptional knowledge of the Belize’s natural attractions and it’s history, culture and heritage. They give each guest an unforgettable vacation experience through exceptional leadership.
Tour Operator of the Year
Splash Dive Center won the Tour Operator of the Year. This award is an affirmation of the positive and vital role of good tour operators in Belize. Priority is placed in providing superb excursions, excellent customer service, and most importantly, the safety of guests; which in return gives every tourist an unmatched vacation experience.
Restaurant of the Year
Once again, Maya Beach Hotel Bistro won the Restaurant of the Year award. This honour is given to a restaurant which has demonstrated to surpass other food establishments by providing a wonderful dining experience through exceptional food, creative concoctions, and excellent customer service.
Small Hotel of the Year
Singing Sands received the Small Hotel of the Year award. This award is given to a boutique hotel which strays from the ordinary but respects the elements that make Belize a unique destination. The hotel and staff must illustrate eco-consciousness, character and innovation.
Hotel of the Year
The San Ignacio Resort Hotel received the Hotel of the Year award. This honour recognizes a hotel that exceeds excellence in all forms – a true example to other hotels in Belize. Perfect ambience, the staff offers exceptional service and positive attitude, facilities and amenities are outstanding, and each visitor experiences the best of what Belize has to offer.
Festival of the Year
The Placencia Lobster Fest won the award for Festival of the Year. This award is given to the best Belize festival that has achieved the most success by showcasing the country’s rich diversity and culture. This celebration should give visitors an amazing experience of everything that represents Belize.
Destination of the Year
The Placencia peninsula was chosen as the Destination of the Year. This award is given to a location that defines true paradise, is continuously evolving and embraces development in a responsible and sustainable manner. Utmost importance is put on assuring that the local people and natural environment benefit from tourism. (They definitely win in my books for good food!)
David Heredia of Anchorage Resort in Caye Caulker received the Minister’s Award. This award is for an individual singled out by the Minister of Tourism and Culture, for a consistent portrayal of community improvement, activism and achievements in the travel industry of Belize.
Lifetime Achievement Award
Yesse Young of the Community Baboon Sanctuary in Bermudian Landing received the Lifetime Achievement Award. This award is given to a person who is bold enough to take risks and gloriously leads in the development of tourism in Belize. They are selfless individuals who strive to improve not only their environment but the lives of everyone around them!
The Placencia Tourism Center received the Hospitality Award. This award is given to a tourism organization that offers exceptional service, plays a crucial role in the advancement of the travel industry and offers an authentic Belizean experience. Employees love working for this company and it reflects in how guests are treated.
Well certainly Placencia came out winning the most awards this year. What are your thoughts on this?