BARBADOS, Bridgetown. Sept. 23, 2016 – International media were recognized for their excellence in journalism at the recently concluded Barbados Tourism Media Awards.
The awards, which were themed “Recognizing Excellence in Global Coverage of Destination Barbados,” were conceptualized by the Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc. in acknowledgement of the positive impact exceptional media coverage can have on would-be travelers. The ceremony, which also coincided with the Caribbean Tourism Organisation (CTO), State of the Industry Conference (SOTIC), was produced by the BTMI in recognition of the island’s 50th anniversary as an independent nation.
The Take a Bow award – Best of the Best by the Judges of all Submissions went to New Yorker Baz Dreisinger of Forbes in the US, whose article on the Crop Over Festival entitled “Carnival In Barbados: Rules For Doing It Like A Local and In Luxury,” also captured the award in the Golden Pen – Best Story in a Luxury Publication category. Dreisinger was traveling on assignment but in sending her regards she described Barbados as a place that would always hold special memories for her.
Out of the 53 submitted entries from Canada, the USA, Europe and the UK, Canada copped the most top awards. Britney Hope who was present at the dinner won the category So You Know Your Stuff – Best Feature Article in a Trade Publication. Also present, Cara McLeay in Yup! You Told ‘Em! – Best Story by a Blogger copped this award with her piece “Barbados Diary.”
With a story entitled “5 Reasons To Have Your Wedding In Barbados”, Mara Sofferin took home the award in How Can This Knot Be Love?- Best Story on Romance; while Michael McCarthy hailing from The Province came out on top in #NoFilter – Best Photo in Conjunction With a Feature Article with his “Making Friends in Bridgetown Marketplace” article.
Editor and freelance journalist, Violaine Charest-Sigouin, from ELLE Quebec won the category Is That An Accent? – Best Feature by Foreign Journalist in Foreign Media with a well written piece dubbed “Elle Voyage Barbados” and Doug Wallace from La Carte was not present, however, after winning the Shaken Not Stirred – Epicurean Excellence Media Award category with his entry “Eating Your Way Around Barbados, One Food Stand At a Time” he mentioned in his acceptance video he remarked that “he can’t wait to eat his way around the island again.”
Jon Hawkins was the lone UK finalist and won his category Spoken Like a True Bajan! – Best Feature Article in a Consumer Publication with a piece entitled, “Rum’s The Word.” Meanwhile, Sangita Chandra of ABC Boston won favour with the judges with their broadcast piece titled, “Seaduced and Fish Fry, Barbados Pleasures, Barbados Roots, Barbados Art” in the category Golden Mic – Best Feature Broadcast.
CEO of BTMI, Billy Griffith paid special thanks to all the journalists who took the time to write on Barbados and enter the first ever awards. He also noted, “these awards are the start of many to come and we encourage each of you to keep up the excellent work in the promotion of the Barbados brand.”
Carter Cops Inaugural Heritage Award
This elegant evening, packed with cocktails, a delectable Bajan-inspired four-course dinner by chef Kirk Kirton, and sweet musical symphonies, climaxed with veteran Barbadian journalist, Gercine Carter being conferred with the inaugural Heritage Award – Exceptional National Coverage by a Local Journalist. In reading the citation, Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry of Tourism, Senator Irene Sandiford-Garner, recognized Carter’s 49-year career in journalism, much of which has been spent raising awareness for the tourism sector. Carter, who was also the first public relations manager at the Hilton Barbados and has been writing a social column since 1987 for The Nation covering broad areas including her old love “tourism”.