Belmont Estate walked away with 2 major regional awards at an evening of recognition for innovation and exemplary work at 2017 Caribbean Sustainable Awards, hosted by the Caribbean Tourism Organisation (CTO) at the Ocean Terrace Inn, St Kitts & Nevis on Wednesday, 13 December 2017.
The Grenadian agri-tourism business received the Agro Tourism Award and a Special ‘Bridging Island of Knowledge’ Award at the Climate-Smart Sustainable Tourism Forum which brought together industry professionals, development agencies, change-makers and influencers within the tourism industry for three days of engagement and discussions.
The Agro-Tourism Award was added this year in honour of the CTO’s Year of Adventure. It was ‘opened to any group, organization, tourism business or attraction that offers an agro-tourism product, which incorporates elements of food/agriculture, culinary output and visitor experience and that can demonstrate how they have achieved successful linkages between the agricultural sector and tenets of the tourism industry,’ according to the CTO.
The first of its kind, the ‘Bridging Island of Knowledge’ Award is a special award given by the Centre of Excellence (COE) For the Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States (SIDS), Aruba. Manager of Aruba Centre of Excellence, Arno Boersma applauded Belmont Estate for providing avenues for research and creating a training environment, through the establishment of Memoranda of Understanding with regional and international universities, thereby allowing for the transference of knowledge.
Alicia Serrao, Belmont Estate’s Tourism Manager, received the awards on behalf of the company. She was elated at having the opportunity to be present for the award ceremony and underscored the dedication, commitment and contribution of the Belmont Estate team in making this award possible. Serrao sees the agro-tourism award as positive step and affirmation of Belmont Estate’s mission ‘to be a model of sustainable agriculture and tourism practices by producing organic products, creating extraordinary experiences and preserving our heritage and environment so as to enrich the lives of others.’
Managing Director of Belmont Estate, Shadel Nyack Compton, was thrilled at receiving both awards and especially for the COE’s recognition of Belmont Estate’s drive for community development and knowledge enhancement. According to Nyack Compton, “the second award came as a surprise and we would like to thank the CTO and Mr Boersma for recognising our team’s effort as we aim to build Belmont Estate as a sustainable model for agri-tourism practices while fostering the spirit of entrepreneurship.”
She praised her team for their wonderful contribution and emphasised that the awards could not have been achieved without them. She also expressed thanks to the Government of Grenada, GTA, and tourism stakeholders for providing the enabling environment within which the company operates; and to the Belmont Estate’s partners and customers for their continuous support which serves as the impetus for the company’s mission.
Nyack Compton also extended warm and hearty congratulations to all awardees, in particular, the Grenada Tourism Authority (GTA) upon winning the Destination Stewardship Award, and pledged her continued support in strengthening her relationship with her strategic partners. “Only with collaborative efforts among industry partners can Pure Grenada’s destination model of sustainable tourism be truly realised,” she added.
The awards were judged by a committee comprising of a panel of experts selected by CTO, representing various sectors of the tourism industry at the national, regional and international levels. The other award winners are:
- Destination Stewardship Award, Grenada Tourism Authority, Grenada
- Excellence in Sustainable Tourism Award, Saint Kitts Ministry of Tourism, St Kitts & Nevis
- Sustainable Accommodation Award, Cuffie River Nature Retreat and Eco, Lodge (Tobago), Trinidad and Tobago
- Community Benefit Award, The Soufriere Regional Development Foundation, Saint Lucia
- Heritage Protection Award, Turks and Caicos National Trust, Turks & Caicos Islands
- Biodiversity Conservation Award, Para la Naturaleza, Puerto Rico
- Tourism Pioneer Award, Nature Seekers, Trinidad & Tobago (Trinidad)
- Climate Smart Award, TIDE Tours, Belize.
These awards come on heels of the Caribbean leaders’ announcement in Paris last week at the One Planet Summit, of the launch of a new public-private coalition to create the world’s first ‘climate-smart zone.’ The commitment to climate-smart practices is very evident by the superb examples from throughout the Caribbean and Grenada’s commitment to a sustainability in the private and public sector is exemplary. We thank CTO for making sustainability a priority in the Caribbean Tourism sector.