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Sep20
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Premier McKeeva Bush Joins Tourism Elite in Turks & Caicos Capturing Three Awards
Published: 09/20/2012

Leading tourism destinations and travel brands from across the Caribbean and Americas have shared top honours at a WTA ceremony hosted at Beaches Turks & Caicos on 14 September 2012. A packed delegation of VIPs, senior tourism figures and international media travelled from more than 30 nations to attend WTA's Caribbean & The Americas Ceremony 2012.

It was an evening of triumph for tourism nations across the Caribbean. The Hon. McKeeva Bush along with Mr. Shomari Scott; Director of Tourism accepted the three awards which the Cayman Islands won for “Caribbean’s Leading Dive Destination”, Grand Cayman Beach Suites as “Cayman’s leading Hotel”, and the Ritz Carlton as “Caribbean leading Hotel Residences”.

“In these austere times the tourism industry has had to make tough decisions, rethink the way we do business and work harder and smarter to ensure we provide our visitors with exceptional value”, stated the Hon Premier. “Receiving awards such as these positively validates those efforts, underscoring that our collective vision and strategy is on the right track. I holeheartedly commend and applaud our tourism industry partners for their accomplishments on behalf of their organisations and the Cayman Islands tourism product”.

Echoing the Premiers sentiments, Mr. Scott commented that he was delighted to have attended the WTA and very proud that the Cayman Islands tourism product was on display as a winner in three categories. In North America, Las Vegas saw off competition from New York, Miami, San Francisco, Montreal and Vancouver to win the coveted title of “North America’s Leading Destination”. New York won the “North America’s Leading City Break Destination” title, while American Airlines was voted “North America’s Leading Airline”.

Meanwhile, Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) was voted “South America’s Leading Destination”, ahead of the likes of Easter Island (Chile), Galapagos Islands (Ecuador) and Machu Picchu (Peru). Cancun (Mexico) came in ahead of Bay Islands (Honduras), San Jose (Costa Rica), Los Cabos (Mexico) and Granada (Nicaragua) to win the coveted title of “Mexico & Central America’s Leading Destination”. Copa Airlines was named “Mexico & Central America’s Leading Airline”.

Rising Caribbean star and the reigning Miss Bahamas, Anastagia Pierre hosted the show with American actor and comedian Walt Willey. Some of the Caribbean’s finest vocalists, including Shawn Campbell and Elroy Simmons, performed to the packed audience. The ceremony has also served as a glittering spotlight for Turks & Caicos The WTA awards programme, hailed as the ‘Oscars of the travel industry’ by the global media, highlights and rewards those travel brands that have made the greatest contribution to the industry over the past year.

Premier Bush received an arousing applause on stage after speaking to the 375 Gala attendees about the importance of Tourism Partnerships. He also acknowledged Mr. Graham E. Cooke, President & Founder, WTA, for his tremendous efforts and global support to tourism marketing for the Cayman Islands and region as a whole. Mr. Cooke was presented with the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee award.

WTA was launched in 1993 to acknowledge and recognise excellence in the global travel and tourism industry. Now celebrating its 19th anniversary, it is regarded as the very highest achievement that a travel product could hope to receive. Other WTA Grand Tour 2012 regional heats include Dubai (UAE), Algarve (Portugal), and Singapore. The winners of these legs will go head-to-head in WTA’s Grand Final, which takes place at The Oberoi, Gurgaon on 12th December 2012.