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  • With a combined 3,025 years of service to the nation’s tourism industry, 56 sector workers were honoured at a gala dinner at the Montego Bay Convention Centre, St. James, on December 16.
  • Dubbed the Golden Tourism Day Awards, the recipients, representing almost every aspect of the tourism industry, received trophies, citations and other tokens of appreciation “for their stellar contributions” to the country’s leading foreign exchange earner.
  • “As a destination, we pride ourselves on service excellence, which is an important measure of productivity in the hospitality industry,” said Tourism Minister, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, in his keynote address.

With a combined 3,025 years of service to the nation’s tourism industry, 56 sector workers were honoured at a gala dinner at the Montego Bay Convention Centre, St. James, on December 16.

Dubbed the Golden Tourism Day Awards, the recipients, representing almost every aspect of the tourism industry, received trophies, citations and other tokens of appreciation “for their stellar contributions” to the country’s leading foreign exchange earner.

“As a destination, we pride ourselves on service excellence, which is an important measure of productivity in the hospitality industry,” said Tourism Minister, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, in his keynote address.

“These stalwarts, on whose shoulders the industry has been built, ought to be celebrated and revered. As a result of their trailblazing efforts, we have built a solid and sustainable industry,” he added.

Mr. Bartlett said he is particularly impressed by the high calibre and remarkable commitment and loyalty of the honourees, noting that for 50 years or more, they have helped to define and shape Jamaica’s tourism industry.

He said the country owes them a great debt of gratitude and that the sector would not have been in the position it is in today without their dedication to service.

“Jamaica has over the past 50 years won numerous awards and accolades in the region and globally, which is due in no small measure to you all,” the Minister told them.

“On behalf of the Government and people of Jamaica, I thank you for the millions of hours you have dedicated to the building of this great industry,” he said.

The Minister pointed out that data from the Jamaica Tourist Board show that from January to October 2018, “we recorded tourist arrivals of 3.5 million”, an increase of nearly two per cent over the corresponding period last year.

He noted that 50 years ago, some 400,000 visitors came to the island and spent in the region of US$87,000 and the accommodation sector comprised about 5,100 rooms.

“Today, we have a vibrant year-round industry that provides a welcoming environment and enriching experience for over 4.3 million visitors annually,” the Minister said.