On Saturday, October 21st, the annual Belize Tourism Awards was held in Belize City at The Ramada Belize City Princess Hotel. This year marked the 15th anniversary of this event and the celebrations and awards did not disappoint.
Every year I look forward to this post since it’s a great way to keep up-to-date with the best resorts, hotels, tour operators, tour guides, and frontline personnel of Belize. Kudos to the 2017 award winners, and a bigger shout out to all the tourism stakeholders that support the industry and make Belize a top travel destination.
Here are the Belize Tourism Awards 2017 winners along with short videos created for them by the Belize Tourism Board:
Front-line Person of the Year
Leroy Welch of Las Terrazas Resort won the award for 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
Estavan Choco of The Lodge at Big Falls 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
Toledo Cave & Adventure Tours 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.
Hospitality Award of the Year
Ian Anderson’s Caves Branch received the Hospitality Award of the Year. This award is given to a tourism business 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.
Hotel of the Year
Grand Caribe Resort 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 ambiance, 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.
Small Accommodation of the Year
Caribbean Beach Cabanas 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.
Restaurant of the Year
Rum fish & Vino 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.
Mick and Lucy Flemming, ecotourism pioneers won 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.
Philip “Billy” Leslie of San Pedro won the Minister’s Award. This award is given to 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.
That’s it for the 2017 award winners – for a list of the 2016 winners, check out belizeadventure.ca/belize-tourism-awards-2016/.