Jamaican businessman Kevin Hendrickson is the Caribbean Hotels and Tourism Association’s Hotelier of the Year.
Hendrickson was announced Caribbean Hotelier of the Year at the inaugural Caribbean Travel Forum, a new addition to the CHTA’s Travel Marketplace.
The annual event is being held in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
Hendrickson is the owner of the Courtleigh Hotel Group, which comprises the Courtleigh Hotel & Suites, the 300-room Jamaica Pegasus, the 143-room Knutsford Court Hotel, and the 512-room all-inclusive Holiday Inn resort in Montego Bay.
Hendrickson was among many winners announced at the Caribbean Travel Forum, which took place at Caribe Hilton.
The CHTA recognised businesses for the way they managed to stay afloat during the pandemic. Awards were given in four categories: Business Operations, Environmental Sustainability, Human Resources and Staffing, and Sales and Marketing.
Landings Resort and Spa in St Lucia won for best Business Operations, as they were able to retain 80 employees while closed, upgraded the Beach Club Restaurant, re-engineered menus to address supply chain challenges, and had staff who were able to pivot to reduce loss while maintaining standards.
Half Moon Hotel in Jamaica won the award for Environmental Sustainability. The hotel initiated farm to table program, trained staff to monitor and protect the hawksbill population on the 25-acre site, implemented aggressive recycling of cardboard, plastic and oil, and implemented refillable water stations throughout the property.
Grace Bay Car Rentals and Sales in Turks and Caicos won the Human Resources and Staffing Award as they maintained 50 per cent salary of all their employees, supported the TCHTA and Salvation Army Food Basket Initiative, and retained all staff members.
Becuti and Tara beach Resort in Aruba won the Sales and Marketing award. During the pandemic lockdowns, they grew their social media followers and database, developed to-go meals for locals, live-streamed micro weddings, and rebounded with double-digit improvements over regional resorts.
There were also two destination awards for Caribbean Resiliency.
Grenada won in the small destinations category while Aruba won in the category for large destinations.
This is the 40th anniversary of Travel Marketplace.