Stingray awards honour tourism

The Cayman Stingray Tourism Awards, the highest honor bestowed by the Cayman Islands Tourism Association, will recognise the persons who have excelled in Cayman’s tourism operations and have made the greatest contribution to the interests and well being of the islands’ hospitality industry and association’s affairs during the year.

After several years of having no official tourism industry awards, the Cayman Islands Tourism Association (CITA) will host the Second Annual Stingray Tourism Awards Ceremony on Saturday, 12 November at the Grand Cayman Marriott Beach Resort.

A press release from the CITA says, ‘The tourism awards categories are partially based on the former Cayman Islands Hotel and Condo Association’s hospitality awards, which have been extended to reflect the all-sector encompassing nature of the CITA.

‘The awards program includes categories for all tourism sectors including awards for hotel and condo employees, watersports employees, restaurant employees, transportation employees and allied members. Awards for managers in each sector will also be up for grabs.’

Also being presented this year will be the prestigious Tourism Lifetime Achievement Award.

Employers are encouraged to nominate their staff for the appropriate awards categories and employees, industry peers and colleagues can nominate candidates for the manager awards. The selection panel consisting of members of the CITA Board of Directors, the CITA’s Education and Training Committee and invited industry and government representatives will review the nominations and select the winners and runners up prior to the festive evening awards ceremony slated during the Tourism Awareness Month.

Karie Bergstrom, CITA President, says ‘We are very excited about reviving the industry awards programme for tourism employees and managers. There are so many wonderful people working in this industry, either behind the scenes or face to face with our visitors and it is very important that these individuals get the opportunity to be recognised on a national level.

‘Every tourism employee contributes to the experience our visitors have and many CITA members have their own staff award programmes to encourage world-class service. However, this new tourism awards programme gives employees from different companies the opportunity to compete against each other to provide the best service for our visitors. There is nothing like a bit of healthy competition to bring out the best in people.’

Ms Bergstrom concludes, ‘The CITA awards are open for member employees of all nationalities and provide the association with an opportunity to publicly applaud those tourism employees who deserve it most’.

The Cayman Islands Tourism Award follows a similar nomination process as the Caribbean Hotel Association’s Hospitality Awards to ensure regional consistency and to enable Cayman Islands based members of the CHA to nominate their staff based on the same information requirements.

The CITA is in the process of securing sponsors for this event and anyone interested in getting involved is encouraged to contact the CITA.

For more information about the CITA tourism awards call the CITA office at 949 8522.