FEATURE: TOURISM AWARDS STILL ABOUT EXCELLENCE

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Chief Tourism Development Officer (Ag) and Chairperson of the Barbados Tourism Awards Main Committee, Nicole Alleyne (third from left) stands with some of the Service Execellent Professionals who will traverse the island disseminating information on the aims and objectives of  the Barbados Tourism Awards 2009 and urging nominations from the tourism sector. 

Despite the fact that the event has been scaled down, the Barbados Tourism Awards 2009 will still highlight excellence.

This assurance was given recently by Minister of Tourism, Richard Sealy as he addressed a media launch to provide details about the Awards. In explaining that the event had to be condensed in terms of overall layout and cost, as a result of the economic situation facing the country, he said, “It would be no less tasteful or effective in recognising the tourism worker.

“To the extent that this event is about pausing and recognising individuals who are making a difference, it is a worthwhile effort,” he added.

Ilaro Court, the official residence of Prime Minister, David Thompson, will be the venue for the Barbados Tourism Awards 2009, which will be held on Saturday, June 6, from 5:30 p.m.

The event, now in its third year, is a collaborative effort on the part of the Ministry of Tourism, the Barbados Tourism Authority (BTA), the Barbados Hotel and Tourism Association (BHTA) and the Barbados Workers’ Union (BWU) and is aimed at honouring the champions of Barbados’ tourism industry.

Chairperson of the Barbados Tourism Awards Main Committee and Chief Tourism Development Officer (Ag.) in the Ministry of Tourism, Nicole Alleyne, in elaborating on the rationale for the Awards, said: “It is held to highlight and reward outstanding individuals present in our tourism industry; to honour tourism businesses as well as those that have made outstanding contributions to developing Barbados as a destination of excellence and to sensitise and educate the country about the importance of tourism.”

Ms. Alleyne noted the significance of celebrating excellence in the tourism industry, given the global economic down turn. She added: “With the economic times that we are facing it is still important to still reward our workers. It is still important to understand that with reduced resources from both ends, we have businesses with reduced numbers of staff, we have staff being asked to work reduced hours but still delivering excellence…so it is important to still award them.

The Awards will showcase two new categories – the Bravery/Honesty Award and the HIV/AIDS Award. The latter is sponsored by the National HIV/AIDS Commission.  Another new industry category featured is the Tourism Micro Enterprises, which will fall under the Award of Excellence.

Other award categories include the Achievement of Excellence Award, Tourism Student Excellence Award, Environmental Excellence Award, People’s Choice Award, Visitors’ Choice Award, Pillar of Industry Award – Individual and Pillar of Industry Award – Business/Organisation.

Caribbean Catalyst Inc. is the entity responsible for the nomination, selection and judging processes.

The first stage of the selection procedure will entail nomination forms being assessed by a team of trained evaluators, to see how well the nominations meet the award criteria.

In the second stage, nominees will be assessed using a “multi-rater” system, where they are rated by their managers, peers, and customers.  These nominees are also required to conduct a self-assessment test.

For businesses/organisations, the second stage involves the conduct of interviews with the heads of these entities.

Additional information is also collected from a number of randomly selected employees/customer, while on-site visits and panel interviews are conducted for specific award categories.

The third stage will entail an assessment of the reports and materials by the judging panel; and the final stage will require a review of all assessment reports and materials submitted to the judging panel.

After tallying the top three scores in each category, the finalists will be invited to the Gala Awards, where the winners will be announced.

Sponsors for the Awards include First Caribbean International Bank, Acute Vision Incorporated, and Sunisle Technology Solutions.

Organisations and individuals requiring further information about the Barbados Tourism Awards should log onto www.barbadostourismawards.com.

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