The awards ceremony was held at the Caribbean Scene, a Jamaican-owned restaurant. It is hosted annually to recognize the most significant and outstanding contributions by journalists of the varied media platforms that aid in the promotion of Caribbean destinations to the UK traveller.
“We really value what you do and believe that you have a wonderful story to tell and we know, we have a very outstanding collection of tourism products across our region and we know we could not have told it without you and you do a great job at telling it,” the Senator told the packed event, adding that “some of you tell our story in some creative ways that we never dreamed of telling it… you’re our best advocates and I thank you on behalf of the entire Caribbean Tourism Organization.”
The St. Kitts Tourism Authority was among the list of sponsors, which included the, The Bahamas Tourist Office, The Grenada Board of Tourism, The Jamaica Tourist Board, The St. Lucia Tourist Board and the Trinidad and Tobago Tourist Office. Director Claire Rawson of the SKTA presented on behalf of the St. Kitts Tourism Authority.
The best broadcast TV and Radio feature, which received perhaps the most nominations, went to producer Simon Bratton. It is a song line podcast on the music of Carriacou entitled “Drumming up the dead.” His prize was presented by the Peter David the Minister of Tourism of Grenada. Of the podcast the judges said “the local interviews with local characters are very colourful and the man who makes the drums is very passionate about his profession, which fits nicely with the special interest of the podcast.”
The second award of the night was for Best Consumer feature which was awarded to wonder lust for their feature “Go green for Dominica,” written by Mark Stratton. The judges said that “Mark has a brilliant use of language, transporting readers from the pages to the trail. The reader bathes in every drop of liquid sunshine with him engages in every conversation, walks every segment and celebrates every moment of satisfaction.” His award was sponsored by the SKTA and presented by Director Claire Rawson.
The Sunday Time Travel Magazine won the prize for Best Piece of Photo Journalism for its “Green Party Montserrat” as seen through the camera lenses of Steve Davey. Maria Gratcia Marina of the Bahamas Tourism Office presented the award. The judges said the photography is stunning, there is plenty of detail, great contrast with lots of green in various shades to compliment the script and support the headline, truly outstanding.”
The best regional newspaper feature went to the Manchester Evening News for the piece entitled “a view with a room in an island paradise” of the destination of St. Lucia, written by Stephanie Nelson, who was not present to accept her prize, which was to be presented by the Secretary General of CTO. However the comments from the judges of her work included “a lively and well-crafted piece with a strong sense of the offer and destination. The culinary feature gave it a great shape of purpose.”
The best travel trade feature went to Travel Trade Gazette (TTG), which in the past published several articles on St. Kitts. The awarded piece is entitled “Holiday’s That Give Back,” with a focus on Jamaica and written by Pippa Jacks. That award was presented by Edmond Jack the Minister of Tourism of Jamaica. According to the judges “it was a nicely, incessantly written piece on conservation and eco-tourism topics that do not always get covered in the Caribbean.”
The best online feature was another article on Montserrat entitled “Celtic Charm in the Caribbean” by Nigel of the Sundaytimes.co.uk. His prize was presented by Michelle Palmer of the Trinidad Development Company. His work was described as an informative yet light-hearted read that captures the island’s laid back lifestyle in all its glory. Montserrat is now on my Caribbean hit list.”
The final award of the night; that of the best national newspaper feature went to the Daily Telegraph by Susie Bennett entitled “How I hike up and down Dominica and Survived.” The judges commented that “it was a really unusual angle that gave the reader a real sense of the trek, loads of beautiful descriptions in detail and also gave you a great sense of the place and what it is like.” Bennett was unable to attend the event and her award was accepted on her behalf by Collin Piper of the Dominica Tourism Authority.
Minister Skerritt thanked all the sponsors for their contribution towards the successful hosting of the annual CTO media awards and also thanked the media for their continued interest and support for the development of tourism in the entire region and particularly St. Kitts and Nevis. The Minister is also the head of the St. Kitts/Nevis delegation currently attending WTM which started on Monday 7th, November and will run until Thursday 10th, November. Other members of the delegation include Mar. Cedric Liburd advisor to the Minister, Mr. Alphonso O’Garro, the Chairman of the St. Kitts Tourism Authority and fellow directors A. U Brown and Claire Rawson.