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Aug 3, 2015

B.T.B. Awards Outstanding Tourism Stakeholders Big and Small

The National Tourism Awards was the highlight of the weekend out in San Pedro. Following the tourism industry conference at Fido’s courtyard, stakeholders in the industry were recognized at the glitzy thirteenth award ceremony. Eleven stakeholders made the cut while several others were recognized for their excellence in the industry. Duane Moody reports.


Duane Moody, Reporting

The award ceremony is held to honor those who have been recognized as the leaders in eleven different categories including Hotel of the Year, Small Hotel of the Year, Tour Operator of the Year, Restaurant of the Year Hospitality Award and more. And then there were those individual awards such as Frontline Person and Tour Guide of the Year.


Norico Gamero

Norico Gamero, Marketing Manager, B.T.B.

“It was a day of events and festivities and it was a day of giving back to the stakeholders for all their hard work, all their training, all the motivation to their staff. They are basically our ground work and it is through them that we can get the feedback on how to get better; what strategies to change, what marketing to implement so that we are not doing a double effort of work. So it is all about them. We actually doubled our nominees from last awards so we are very happy for that and the results and we did runner’s up this year as well.”


Marleni Cuellar

“So you had fourteen awardees and of those, eleven had a runner-up category as well?”


Norico Gamero



A total of fifty-seven nominations were submitted this year, which is twice the amount back in 2014; and the criteria included meeting minimum requirements such as valid licenses and tax compliance.


Calypso Train Tours won Cruise Tour Operator of the Year. They’ve been in operation for the past ten years and offer various tours for Belizeans and cruise ship visitors.


Denise Ockey

Denise Ockey, Owner, Calypso Train Tours

“This is our tenth year of operation doing a city tour, a one hour city tour of Belize. Light, entertaining and informative; love to show the best of what we have. And also this year, we broke into inland tours. We are doing a tour into Cahal Pech, small group size; hopefully an intimate exploration experience for our guests and that has been going well. We offer an education program for Standard four to six doing school tours after our last tour on a ship day. So we will give them the same product that we give our visitors and that is part of their Social Studies project. I provide a lesson plan or an outline for the teachers so that they can work on it the week up to.”


The 2015 Hospital Award was captured by San Ignacio Hotel in the west. In 2014, they won the Hotel of the Year Award.


Trinity Castro

Trinity Castro, PR Manager, San Ignacio Hotel

“We know we were nominated so we were there and they went through the whole process. We are extremely, extremely proud of this award. The year before we won the Hotel of the Year Award. To me, this award definitely speaks to what our product is. This is for our frontline staff; they are the front of the house, they are the face of the San Ignacio Resort Hotel, they are who our guests interact with every single day. So to receive this award it is definitely a testament to the hard work and efforts of the hotel. Our team works extremely long hours; we do a lot of internal training. We’ve recently implemented a change management program which really has helped our team to deliver a quality luxury product.”


Frontline Person of the Year went to Roberto Guerra of La Beliza Resort. Tour Guide of the Year was Desmond Ramirez of Belcampo. Guava Limb Café at Chaa Creek was selected as the Restaurant of the Year. San Pedro Lobster Festival won the Major Events and Festivals category. Ian Anderson’s Cave Branch Jungle Lodge and Adventure Company won the Tour Operator of the Year. Cruise Tour Guide of the Year was Darknight Cave Adventure. Hotel of the Year is Gaia River Lodge and Small Hotel of the Year was captured by Table Rock Lodge. Hickatee Cottages was recognized as the Guesthouse of the Year. Duane Moody for News Five.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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