Caribbean Media Figures Receive Top Awards

The Caribbean Hotel Association (CHA) and American Express presented the 2nd annual Caribbean Tourism Media Awards at a special awards lunch during the Caribbean Hotel Industry Conference (CHIC 2003) in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. The award aims to raise regional awareness about the impact of tourism, by fostering excellence in tourism reporting in the Caribbean.
Lennox Grant, Trinidad Guardian; Evelyn Guadalupe-Fajardo, Caribbean Business, Puerto Rico; Dr. Stanley Collymore, Barbados Advocate; and Indiana Monteverde, Caribbean World, Aruba and the Dominican Republic, were recognised for quality in professional reporting on tourism and tourism development issues.
“The Caribbean media, the `fourth power,` play an essential role in reporting on the Caribbean tourism industry - the most important economic activity and principal foreign exchange earner for the region. Through their work, they can help to shape public opinion, and public policy, to ensure its development is sustainable and impacts our people positively,” said Alec Sanguinetti, CHA director general and CEO.
Lennox Grant`s story, “Tobago Plays Catch Up” won the overall award. The feature is a balanced look at the increasing importance of the tourism industry in Tobago. The piece captures the recent growth of the Tobagonian tourism industry and its benefits - while tabling some of the challenges that it faces, mainly as a result of this growth, such as insufficient airlift, the perception of safety and security, damage to the environment, and inadequate waste management.
Evelyn Guadalupe-Fajardo earned a finalist award in recognition for the front-page feature “A Struggle for Identity,” an analysis of Puerto Rico`s efforts to establish a clear brand identity over the years.  Guadalupe-Fajardo`s in-depth piece raises questions about the island`s ever-changing marketing strategy and how it has affected the island`s competitive edge.
Dr. Stanley Collymore was also recognised as a finalist for his article entitled “Killing the Golden Goose.” In this opinion piece, Collymore addresses a number of pervasive issues, such as marketing the Caribbean as a single destination, and the environmental and social sustainability of our industry. He concludes his musings with a warning: “The decisions that are made will impact on and affect the future of every one of us for a very long time.”

Meanwhile, CHA and American Express honored finalist Indiana Monteverde for her tireless efforts to promote intra-Caribbean travel and sustainable tourism through her bilingual travel program “Caribbean World,” which airs in Tele Aruba and the Caribbean Traveling Network in the Dominican Republic.
The Caribbean Tourism Media Awards is part of CHA and American Express` commitment to increasing awareness about the importance of the sustainable development of the tourism industry to the economic and social well being of the region and its people. 

In addition to the Awards, CHA is one of the organisers of the Caribbean Media Exchange on Sustainable Tourism (CMEx), an innovative initiative produced in conjunction with Air Jamaica, Counterpart International, Caribbean Alliance for Sustainable Tourism (CHA`s environmental arm), Caribbean Broadcasting Union and `Life Needs the Caribbean.` CMEx brings journalists right into the development and design of tourism policies. American Express is one of the sponsors of CMEx.
Entries for the “CHA / American Express Caribbean Tourism Media Awards” are evaluated taking into consideration the following criteria: originality of the subject; quality of the investigation / research; quality of treatment; ability to relate tourism to social, economic, and environmental issues; and potential impact on the public and policy makers.
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