|(Back row from left to right) Rudolph Morton (Environmental Excellence Award - Frigate Bay Development Corporation), Rosevelt Taylor (People’s Choice Award), Royd Phipps (National Champion Award), Sandi Emlish (Pillar of the Industry Award: Business - Sunlinc), Sylvester Phipps (The Kittitian Experience Award - Mr. X’s Shiggidy Shack), Gillian Mills (Employee of the Year Award) and Will Casselton, keynote speaker at this year’s Annual Tourism Awards. (Front row from left to right) Earle Clarke and Pedro Douglas (Legend of the Industry Award), St. Kitts-Nevis Prime Minister the Rt. Hon. Dr. Denzil Doulgas, Elroy ‘Scout’ Lewis (Award of Excellence), Maurice Widdowson (Pillar of the Industry Award) and Minister of Tourism and International Transport Senator Ricky Skerritt.|
St. Kitts is celebrating the winners of the “St. Kitts Experience” Awards, individuals and businesses that have positively impacted the development of St. Kitts tourism.
The awards ceremony at Carambola Beach Club attracted many attendees, among whom were: Prime Minister Rt. Honorable Dr. Denzil L. Douglas; Minister of Tourism & International Transport, Senator Ricky Skerritt; several ministers of government; numerous individuals representing the St. Kitts tourism product; and professionals from the agricultural, manufacturing, and other tourism-related service sectors.
The Legend of the Industry Award was jointly won by Earl Clarke and Pedro Douglas for their pioneering work in the island’s taxi trade from as early as the 1950’s and 1960’s. Clarke and Douglas are credited with forming the first taxi associations in St. Kitts & Nevis as well as their noteworthy contributions toward the development of the Federation’s taxi and tour operations and, by extension, the development of tourism.
Entrepreneur Maurice Widdowson was recognized for his commitment to the tourism industry with the Pillar of the Industry Award. Widdowson, the visionary owner of the Caribelle Batik and Wingfield Estate, has dedicated many years to tourism. He has a long record of giving back to the industry through industry associations or other voluntary and cooperative forms of service.
General Manager of TDC Airlines, Elroy “Scout” Lewis, was presented with the Award of Excellence. Lewis has worked with several airlines including British Airways, LIAT and US Airways, as well as several chartered companies, and has contributed significantly to the growth of St. Kitts’ tourism industry. Commenting on the tremendous expansion in the tourism sector, Lewis believes it is important to educate local people on the benefits of tourism.
The Employee of the Year Award was given to Gillian Mills of the St. Kitts Scenic Railway for her willingness to go beyond the call of duty, her team work and her positive attitude. Mills is a committed, diligent and enthusiastic worker who is responsible for tour development, sales, reservations, blocked space, settlements and tour operations.
The Environmental Excellence Award went to the Frigate Bay Development Corporation for the management of public spaces including parks, beaches, roadside verges, ponds and the coastal area that has become the popular night-time entertainment spot, “The Strip.” In recent times, environmental issues such as watershed, biodiversity management and maintaining the cleanliness and aesthetics of the Frigate Bay area have become some of the corporation’s additional responsibilities.
Taking home the Achievement of Excellence Award was Serendipity Restaurant. The dining establishment earned this distinction for demonstrating strong leadership and direction for the business, for providing comprehensive training for their employees and for continuously striving to improve customer satisfaction.
Sunlinc was honored with the Pillar of Tourism Industry Award for setting high standards in the tourism industry, thereby positively impacting its development, and for maintaining a corporate social responsibility program that illustrates its commitment to the community.
The People’s Choice Award was presented to Rosevelt Taylor for his professionalism as an inbound tour operator who strives to exceed the guest expectations. Taylor enjoys meeting people from all walks of life and demonstrates his national pride on every tour he conducts, offering creative ways to see the various historical sites of St. Kitts.
The Kittitian Experience Award went to Mr. X’s Shiggidy Shack, a beachfront restaurant located on the Frigate Bay Strip known for its tasty local dishes, Thursday night bonfire parties complete with a fire-eater, karaoke Saturdays and Sunday dinners. Described on TripAdvisor as a “cool, casual place to grab a bite” which offers “awesome lobster, good food, good prices and a great band,” it is a popular spot with locals and visitors alike.
Royd Phipps earned the National Champion Award for expressing his passion for drumming. Joining the Department of Culture on January 1, 1999, he implemented the drumming program in a number of schools and performs as a lead drummer of the Okolo Tegremantine Arts Theatre.