Four stal­warts nom­i­nated for Hospi­tal­ity Ja­maica Tourism Per­son­al­ity of the Year

Jamaica Gleaner - - SOMETHING EXTRA -

FOUR DIS­TIN­GUISHED tourism stal­warts have been nom­i­nated for the pre­mier award Tourism Per­son­al­ity of the Year, to be pre­sented at the sec­ond Hospi­tal­ity Ja­maica Awards cer­e­mony at the Mon­tego Bay Con­ven­tion Cen­tre in St James on Novem­ber 19.

Named af­ter The Gleaner’s fort­nightly publi­ca­tion Hospi­tal­ity Ja­maica, the event “recog­nises or­gan­i­sa­tions and in­di­vid­u­als who have con­trib­uted sig­nif­i­cantly to im­prov­ing the qual­ity and ex­pe­ri­ence of the hospi­tal­ity in­dus­try in Ja­maica” in 12 cat­e­gories.

The nom­i­nees for Tourism Per­son­al­ity of the Year 2016 are Kevin Hen­drick­son, owner and man­ag­ing di­rec­tor of The Courtleigh Ho­tels and Suites, the Knutsford Court Ho­tel, The Ja­maica Pe­ga­sus and the for­mer Wyn­d­ham Ho­tel – all in New Kingston – and the Hol­i­day Inn Re­sort, Mon­tego Bay; Shireen Aga and Bar­bara Walker, coown­ers of Port An­to­nio’s Ho­tel Mock­ing­bird Hill; and Josef Forstmayr, man­ag­ing di­rec­tor of Round Hill Ho­tel and Vil­las in Hanover.

Hen­drick­son has had a ca­reer in Ja­maica’s hospi­tal­ity and tourism in­dus­try for more than 35 years, be­gin­ning in 1981 as the gen­eral man­ager of the Courtleigh Ho­tel.

Hen­drick­son has since proven him­self a com­mit­ted player in Ja­maica’s tourism in­dus­try, in­vest­ing con­tin­u­ally in up­grad­ing and re­fur­bish­ing of his prop­er­ties and pro­vid­ing ser­vice and prod­ucts be­yond ex­pec­ta­tion.

GIV­ING BACK

Phi­lan­thropy is one of the core val­ues of the group of com­pa­nies owned by Hen­drick­son, and they sup­port a num­ber of ini­tia­tives to the ben­e­fit of the needy, the in­firm and the dis­ad­van­taged in the so­ci­ety, in­clud­ing feed­ing pro­grammes, health fairs, and com­mu­nity de­vel­op­ment.

Shireen Aga and Bar­bara Walker pre­side over one of Port An­to­nio’s most pre­cious gems. Ho­tel Mock­ing­bird Hill is home away from home for the many re­peat guests who visit an­nu­ally.

Hav­ing ac­knowl­edged that “there is much more to Ja­maica than sun, sand and sea”, the own­ers set about carv­ing out an ex­pe­ri­ence for their guests that in­cludes bird watch­ing, and a mu­sic tour in which var­i­ous com­mu­nity stake­hold­ers give guests insight into the ori­gins and his­tory of the is­land’s mu­sic and cul­ture.

Ho­tel Mock­ing­bird Hill guests can en­joy hikes un­der the su­per­vi­sion of lo­cal guides from var­i­ous sur­round­ing com­mu­ni­ties and Aga and Walker rou­tinely en­cour­age them to en­joy ac­tiv­i­ties and ex­pe­ri­ences out­side of the ho­tel, spread­ing the ben­e­fits of tourism well be­yond their own doors.

They re­gard their guests as fam­ily shar­ing their home, and this is borne out in the per­sonal wel­come on ar­rival, evening chats be­fore or af­ter din­ner, and con­ver­sa­tions about ex­pe­ri­ences and cul­tures. They can also take home a lit­tle piece of Ja­maica, as the ho­tel re­places the tra­di­tional ‘Good Night Choco­lates’ with jars of home­made jerk, guava jelly, pep­per jelly, pi­mento liqueur or a col­lec­tion of spices – pi­mento, cin­na­mon leaf, nut­meg – and bags of choco­late tea with the recipe of how to make it.

Josef Forstmayr has been wel­com­ing guests to Round Hill Ho­tel and Vil­las since he be­gan as man­ag­ing di­rec­tor in 1989. Prior to that, he served as as­sis­tant man­ager at Co­conut Cove, Ne­gril, res­i­dent man­ager at Tryall Club, and gen­eral man­ager, Tri­dent Vil­las, Port An­to­nio.

Forstmayr is pas­sion­ate about the lo­cal in­dus­try and the pro­mo­tion of ‘made in Ja­maica’ prod­ucts, from beer and rum to sauces, to sup­port the econ­omy.

Un­der his stew­ard­ship, Round Hill Ho­tel and Vil­las has won many pres­ti­gious in­ter­na­tional, Caribbean and Ja­maican awards and ac­co­lades, in­clud­ing the World Travel Awards’ Best Vil­las for six con­sec­u­tive years, and they have been fea­tured in ma­jor pub­li­ca­tions such as Conde Nast Trav­eler’s ‘Gold List’ and Travel and Leisure’s ‘World’s Best List’.

Forstmayr, too, has been hon­oured at sev­eral lev­els. In 2005, he was made a mem­ber of the Or­der of Dis­tinc­tion in the rank of Of­fi­cer for his con­tri­bu­tion to Ja­maica’s tourism in­dus­try; twice named Hote­lier of the Year by the Ja­maica Ho­tel and Tourist As­so­ci­a­tion (JHTA); and Caribbean Ho­tel and Tourist As­so­ci­a­tion (CHTA) Hote­lier of the Year. He has served as pres­i­dent of both the JHTA and the CHTA.

HEN­DRICK­SON JA­MAICAN PROD­UCTS

WALKER

FORSTMAYR

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