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Jamaica has emerged winner in the Caribbean Travel & Life’s annual Best of the Caribbean survey, by topping three of the major categories – ‘Best All-Around Destination’, ‘Friendliest People’, and ‘Best Local Food’.
The special survey was conducted online and attracted just under 10,000 readers of the magazine, who voted their ‘top picks’ for the ‘Best of the Caribbean’ awards.
Of the 33 categories that were highlighted, Jamaica or a Jamaican product either won or was runner-up in 18. The categories included best destination, beach, spa, beer, bar and shopping.
Jamaica’s beer, Red Stripe, was voted ‘Best Caribbean Beer’, while Half Moon and Caves were awarded ‘Best Golf Resort’ and ‘Best Boutique Hotel’, respectively.
Other winners included Magens Bay in St. Thomas, which won ‘Best Beach’; Royal Caribbean, which was awarded ‘Best Cruise Line’ and Beaches Turks and Caicos Resort, which got the nod for ‘Best All-Inclusive Resort’.
Publisher of the Caribbean Travel and Life magazine, Susan Gilman, while making the presentation of the award at the Jamaica Tourist Board on November 14, noted that the magazine readers were “dedicated Caribbean visitors”, who visit the region “once every 10 months on average”.
She added that the survey indicated that 24 per cent of the readers have visited Jamaica in the past two years and another 24 per cent intend to visit Jamaica in the next 12 months.
Commenting on Jamaica’s performance in the survey, Minister of Tourism, Entertainment and Culture, Aloun Assamba said that Jamaica’s blend of natural beauty, rich cultural heritage, vibrant and creative people, food and drink have all contributed to the country being chosen as one of the ‘Caribbean’s Best’. Headquartered in Florida, Caribbean Travel and Life has a readership of close to 400,000 persons, and is the only travel magazine to focus solely on the Caribbean.