Fifteen persons and 14 properties and organisations will vie for trophies, cash and other prizes at the prestigious Tourism Service Excellence awards, slated for Saturday, May 8 at Hilton Rose Hall Hotel in Montego Bay, St. James.
From the finalists, six persons and six entities representing the island's resort areas of Kingston, Port Antonio, Ocho Rios, Montego Bay, Negril and the South Coast, will be recognised and awarded for exceptional service in the tourism sector.
Dubbed the 'Oscar of Tourism', the event will feature the 'best of the best' from across the island, in the hospitality sector.
Speaking with JIS News, Executive Director at the Tourism Product Development Company (TPDCo), Earl Patrick explained that the awards are designed to "develop, maintain and enhance the very best men, women and organisations, serving their country through consistency in service excellence in the tourism industry".
"One of the most important components of the visitor experience is the quality of the interface between the visitor and the tourism worker and their experience with tourism services. Quality customer service delivery at every entity is integral to the continued growth in the tourism sector," he stated.
Outlining the various categories of awards and prizes, Mr. Patrick informed that each resort winner would be presented with the Resort Area Champion Trophy, in addition to cash prize and holiday weekends.
The National Champion Individual will receive a trophy, cash prize of $175,000 and a one-week Caribbean cruise, with a trophy for the National Champion Organisation.
The TSEP is an initiative of the Ministry of Tourism, TPDCo, and the Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB), and falls under the Ministry's 'Spruce Up Jamaica' campaign.
The major objectives of the TSEP are to recognise and reward individual workers, who have and continue to surpass customer service delivery standards and entities that continuously train and motivate staff to achieve excellence in customer service delivery; and to select, showcase and award the best in service excellence.
The finalists representing the Negril region are: Dean Moriah, Breezes Grand Resort; Khadine Daley, Sandals Beach Resort; Tannecea Campbell, Couples Swept Away; and Ricardo Smith, Beaches Sandy Bay.
From the Montego Bay region, the finalists are: Renford Patterson, Calypso Village Tryall Club; Jamaal Morrison, Chukka Caribbean Adventures; Andrea Kelly, The Ritz Carlton; and Margaret Edmondson, Chateau Margarite, while Mark Cole and Sonia Davis, Hedonism III; and Kemol Dixon, Sandals Grande are the finalists from Ocho Rios.
From Kingston, the finalists are Ilia Gayle, Hilton Kingston Hotel; Venice Phillips, Norman Manley International Airport; and Dollis Campbell from Jam Venture Tours, while Andrea Swaby McLean from Jakes Treasure Beach, is the representative from the South Coast.
The organisations are: Mystic Mountain, Beaches Boscobel, and Dolphin Cove, from the Ocho Rios region; Outameni Experience, Chukka Caribbean Adventures, and Half Moon Resort from Montego Bay; Spanish Court Hotel, Jamaica Pegasus and Canco Limited from Kingston; Beaches Sandy Bay, Negril Beach Resort, representing Negril; Mockingbird Hill Resort and Gee Jam, Port Antonio; and Jake's from the South Coast.