Friday, July 19, 2024

Ambergris Caye shines at BTB 2018 National Tourism Awards


The tourism mecca of Belize, Ambergris Caye, was well represented at the 16th annual Belize Tourism Board (BTB) National Tourism Awards. Held on Saturday, October 20th at Caribbean Motors in Belize City, the event saw invited guests and stakeholders from different parts of the country applauding the winners of the night.
Every year, the BTB Awards recognizes and honors those organizations, industry partners and individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the tourism industry in Belize. Awards were distributed in areas of Frontline Personnel, Hospitality Award, Hotel of the Year, Small Accommodations of the Year, Tour Guide of the Year, Top Performing Hotel of the year, Tourism Site of the year, Festival of the year, Tour Operator of the year, Tour Guide Association of the Year, Restaurant of the Year, the Minister’s Awards and the Lifetime Achievement Award.
This year Ambergris Caye nabbed four of the evening’s prizes, starting with the Hospitality Award of year, which went to the Belize Chocolate Company. Chris Beaumont, owner of Belize Chocolate Company, says he and his wife Josephine started their business 11 years ago. Their goal was to do more than just chocolate bars with the cocoa beans. “In our shop, everything is related to chocolate, we have chocolate syrup, vinegar, tea, shops, chocolate bags and many more items that highlight this amazing product,” he said. Belize Chocolate Company believes that good chocolate and hospitality brings an experience of pleasure and joy. They thank everyone who has been a part of their success.
The Tour Guide Association of the year went to San Pedro Tour Guide Association and president of the association Phillip ‘Billy’ Leslie graciously accepted the award. He stated that the island’s association has a membership of almost 300 persons and has been very successful over the past years. “We want to thank the BTB for this award, but I also want to note that everyone that’s in the tourism industry, even if you are not nominated for an award, that you are important as you contribute to the success of it,” he said.
Cayo Espanto, a private island, won Small Accommodation of the year. Manager of the resort Rosita Ayuso credited the hard work of the entire staff, who try their best to provide guests with an unforgettable experience at Cayo Espanto.
Taking Top Performing Hotel of the year was Grand Caribe Resort, a condominium resort located north of San Pedro. The luxury property opened in 2010 and comprises of 76 condominium units ranging from one bedroom to five-bedroom villas.
The other 2018 BTB awardees are:
Frontline Line person of the year: Nikita Young (Chabil Mar)
Tour Guide of the year: Carlos Hernandez
Restaurant of the year: The Grove House by Chef Adan
Festival of the year: Caye Caulker Lobster Fest
Tourism Site of the year: St. Herman’s Blue Hole National Park
Tour Operator of the year: Chukka Belize
Hotel of the year: The Lodge at Chaa Creek
Life Time Achievement: Ian and Ella Anderson
Minister’s Award of the Year: IIsa Villanueva
Special Recognition: Taste of the Caribbean
After the award ceremony, guests mingled and enjoyed the planned festivities. The San Pedro Sun congratulates all winners of the 16th BTB National Tourism Awards, and applauds their excellent work throughout the year.

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