When you’re based in the tropics, getting away for winter is meaningless, unless you’re planning a ski trip, but we understand that readers in the northern hemisphere might be planning a toasty getaway right now. If so, you might want to consider Jamaica, named by the World Travel Awards 2016 as the Caribbean’s leading destination. On the high end of the scale, the Bahamas was a double-winner, as the Leading Luxury Island Destination and Leading Luxury Destination.
At a gala ceremony held over the weekend, industry leaders toasted the best of Caribbean travel as voted by major players in the industry. If you’re wondering what about the rest of the world, well this occasion focused only on the Caribbean.
As you might expect, perennial favorites Jamaica, the Bahamas, Turks & Caicos and Antigua & Barbuda took home some of the major awards of the night.
Turks & Caicos was voted the Caribbean’s leading beach destination, while Antigua & Barbuda was named the most romantic. We wonder how the rest of the Caribbean feels about that beach award…
Still, it isn’t all humdrum and storms-in-teacups. Jamaica-bound travelers may be interested in the tourism office’s “Meet the People” program, which pairs visitors with local ambassadors who share a common profession, hobby or interest.
Ambassadors include musicians, doctors, chefs, dancers, farmers, teachers, beauticians, photographers, and artists.
Another innovative program includes volunteering opportunities that include educational, faith-based and farming programs throughout the island.
Jamaica’s Dolphin Cove was also named the region’s leading tourist attraction and the island itself named leading cruise destination.
On the luxury side, the Bahamas repeated its success from last year, where it also won the Leading Luxury Island Destination award. Accepting the award for the Bahamas in Jamaica was Giovanni Grant, general manager of Multi Destination Marketing. “I’m thrilled that the Bahamas has maintained its appeal as the leading luxury destination,” he said. “It speaks to our commitment to building on the success that we have achieved thus far. We will continue to work hard and hopefully next year we’ll be walking away with a few more awards.”
Here are some of the big winners from the Caribbean edition of the World Travel Awards 2016:
Caribbean’s Leading Luxury Island Destination: The Bahamas Leading beach destination: Turks & Caicos Leading beach resort: Four Seasons Resort Nevis Leading cruise destination: Jamaica Leading hotel: Coco Reef Resort & Spa, Tobago Leading destination: Jamaica Leading honeymoon destination: Saint Lucia Leading honeymoon resort: Sandals Ochi Beach Resort, Jamaica Leading luxury destination: The Bahamas Leading luxury resort: Amanyara Villas, Turks & Caicos Leading dive destination: Cayman Islands