The Belize Tourism Board held its annual National Tourism Awards Gala on Saturday, 22nd October in Belize City. The signature event honored and celebrated the excellence of the industry’s top performers for 2022. Four out of the 13 awards handed out to tourism stakeholders around the country belonged to San Pedro, Ambergris Caye including Restaurant of the Year, Tour Guide of the Year, Tour Operator of the Year and the Lifetime Achievement Award. We congratulate all the winners, especially our Ambergris Caye people who we know work diligently every day to put out the best product for everyone to enjoy.
Restaurant of the Year
It goes without saying that the iconic Elvi’s Kitchen is one of the most popular and distinguished restaurants on Ambergris Caye. The restaurant is the living legacy of founder Elvia Staines, which began 46 years ago as a take-out food spot. Today, Chef Jennie Staines and family deliver a fantastic culinary experience rich with Belizean tastes with a touch of Mayan flavors.
Tour Guide of the Year
The award for was bestowed to Mr. Sherman Michael Cain of Blue Heavens Dives and Tours in San Pedro! The BTB stated that it celebrates his vigor and dedication to showcasing our jewel- Belize. His guests
Tour Operator of the Year
Tour Operator of the Year was given to San Pedro’s Belize Diving Adventures for being so passionate about offering experiences for travelers who visit our beloved country. Proprietors Everette and Enes Anderson, family, and team have been in the forefront of the tourism industry for many years. They have embraced community and work in brotherhood with their fellow stakeholders.
Lifetime Achievement Award
The Lifetime Achievement Award is presented to those who have dedicated their lives to grow and develop Belize’s tourism industry. This awardee’s contributions are significant and have positively impacted Belize and the lives of countless Belizeans. We congratulate Mr. John Greif and Mr. Steve Schulte for being the recipient of this year’s Lifetime Achievement Award. Mr. Anthony Hunt accepted the award on behalf of Mr. Steve Schulte. For over 40 years, Tropic Air has been contributing to the development of Belize’s tourism industry with convenient dependable air service throughout the country and other countries like Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, and Mexico.
The gala was attended by Hon. Anthony Mahler, Min. of Tourism and Diaspora Relations, other government officials, diplomatic core, industry partners, and other distinguished guests including all nominees and winners. In his remarks, Minister Mahler, thanked industry partners for their resolve to survive and remaining steadfast in their commitment to the tourism industry in the face of the pandemic. As the governing body for the tourism industry, the BTB recognized excellence in service and efforts in several categories: Frontline Person of the Year, Tour Guide of the Year, Tour Operator of the Year, Site of the Year, Restaurant of the Year, Small Accommodation of the Year, Hotel of the Year, Posthumous Award, Minister’s Award, Lifetime Achievement Award.
Three new categories were introduced being Green Champion of the Year, Health and Wellness Provider of the Year and Cultural Experience of the Year. The addition of the new categories is a reflection of the dynamic growth of Belize’s tourism industry over the past year.
“We cannot rewrite the chapters of history already passed, but we can learn from them, evolve and adapt,” stated the BTB. “When we all help one another, everybody wins. The BTB takes this opportunity to congratulate all the winners as well as the nominees for their exceptional service and dedication to fast track our industry’s recovery and strengthen Belize tourism product.”
Frontline Personnel of the Year
Green Champion of the Year
Turneffe Flats Resort
Cultural Experience of the Year
San Antonio Women’s Cooperative
Site of the Year
Blue Hole Natural Monument
Health and Wellness Provider of the Year
Om Shanti Belize Yoga and Wellness Center & School Ltd.
Hotel of the Year
Sleeping Giant Rainforest Lodge
Small Accommodation of the Year
Off the Wall Dive Center and Resort