San Pedro was a big winner once again at the 11th Annual Belize Tourism Board (BTB) Tourism Awards that took place at Old Belize in Belize City on Wednesday, June 8. Hon. Manuel Heredia Jr., Minister of Tourism, Culture and Civil Aviation, and the BTB gave merit and recognition to deserving stakeholders in Belize’s tourism industry.
Receiving one of the top recognitions this year was Mr. Romel Gomez Sr. who was presented with the Minister’s Award for his contribution to tourism in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye as a fisherman and owner of Ruby’s Hotel. Enes Ramirez of Belize Diving Adventures, San Pedro, was awarded with Tour Guide of the Year, the first woman to receive that award. Thirdly, (and technically an award for San Pedro too) Placida Leonor Requena Guerrero, was presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award. She hails from Punta Gorda where she operates a tour charter business there, but was raised in San Pedro and has extended family on the island.
San Pedro had a strong presence at the awards ceremony as Trip Advisor handed out certificates for the winners of their Travelers’ Choice 2011 Awards whose recipients from Ambergris Caye included: San Pedro Town, Victoria House, Las Terrazas, Xanadu Island Resort and The Phoenix Resort among other Belizean resorts; all were there to accept their recognition.
Old Belize was the venue of the awards show where industry stakeholders, distinguished guests and tourism friends gathered to honor recipients of the 11th Annual National Tourism Awards. Here is the complete list of this year’s nominees and winners. Our congratulations to all!
Small Hotel of the Year Award – Table Rock Jungle Lodge
Sea Side Cabanas, Stann Creek
Hickatee Cottages, Toledo
Table Rock Jungle Lodge, San Ignacio, Cayo
Small hotels represent the bulk of the accommodation sector in Belize, and offer an intimate experience like no other.
Restaurant of the Year – Maya Beach Hotel Bistro Placencia
Red Ginger, San Pedro
Maya Beach Hotel Bistro, Placencia
Blue Water Grill, San Pedro
Have you ever had a meal that was more of a dining experience? Has it been at a fancy restaurant or a small operation? What stands out most is the ambience, service, and the creativity of the cuisine.
Frontline Person of the Year – Althea Sheable, Front Desk Chabil Mar Villas, Placencia
A positive attitude is infectious! Front desk staff, bartenders, waiters, activities coordinators, and so on, are famous for this.
Tour Guide of the Year – Enes Ramirez, Belize Diving Adventures San Pedro
Buno Kuppinger, Sun Creek Lodge, Toledo
Enes Ramirez, San Pedro
Everette Anderson, San Pedro
Tour Operator of the Year – Avadon Divers, Placencia
Avadon Divers, Placencia
Tour operators who are not a part of a hotel have the unenviable task of ensuring a family friendly, world class experience, at an affordable price, while enduring the highest standards of visitor safety.
Hotel of the Year Award – The Lodge at Chaa Creek
The Phoenix Resort, San Pedro
The Lodge at Chaa Creek, Cayo
Caves Branch Outpost, Cayo
(The Hotel of the Year is a true tourism ambassador. Belize’s biggest selling point is by word of mouth referrals from trusted sources. This hotel creates a “we want to come back again” drive. Belizean employees and suppliers benefit from this hotel.
Minister’s Award – Romel Gomez Sr.
Lifetime Achievement Award – Placida Leonor Requena Guerrero, Punta Gorda
Requeña’s Travel Service
Tip Advisors Travel Choice Award Winners:
* San Pedro, Ambergris Caye – Top 25 Best Destinations in Central & South America
* The Phoenix Resort, San Pedro - Top 10 Hotels for Service in Central & South America & Top 10 Relaxation/Spa Hotels in Central & South America
* Victoria House, San Pedro - Top 10 Hotels for Romance in Central & South America
* Las Terrazas Resort, San Pedro - Top 10 Luxury Hotels in Central & South America
* Xanadu Island Resort, San Pedro – Top 10 Hotels for Service in Central & South America
* Hamanasi Adventure and Dive Resort, Hopkins - Top 10 Hotels for Service in the World & Top 10 Hotels for Service in Central & South America
* Hickatee Cottages, Punta Gorda - Top 10 B&Bs and Inns in Central & South America
* Coco Plum Island Resort, Stann Creek - Top 10 Hotels for Romance in Central & South America