Belize National Tourism Awards 2022

by Louise Roe

Over the weekend on October 22th 2022, the Belize Tourism Board hosted their annual tourism awards. Experts in the tourism industry gathered at the Caribbean Motors Showroom for a night of recognition.

The National Tourism Awards are held annually, to acknowledge and award those in the tourism industry for excellent service in the hospitality and tourism industry. Awards given fall under 10 different categories.

Belize has become an attractive destination. The organizations, properties, and businesses in attendance at the awards are key players in making Belize the desirable destination it is today.  In recognition of their hard work and dedication, the BTB used this night to celebrate and honour those in the industry.

Hotel of the Year Awards

Winner: Sleeping Giant Rainforest Lodge 

Photo by The Rainforest Lodge at Sleeping Giant
Sleeping Giant

This awards recognises a licensed hotel with ten or more rooms, where service exceeds excellence with demonstrated positive attitude and attentiveness of the staff. Offering exceptional value for money, equipped with outstanding facilities and amenities, innovation, and the ability to provide visitors with a truly authentic and all-encompassing Belize experience. Nominees for this category were Chabil Mar Villas, Grand Caribe Belize, SunBreeze Hotel, Turtle Inn, Sleeping Giant Rainforest Lodge and Seiri Del Mar

Small Accommodation of the Year Award

Winner: 𝐎𝐟𝐟 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐖𝐚𝐥𝐥 𝐃𝐢𝐯𝐞 𝐂𝐞𝐧𝐭𝐞𝐫 & 𝐑𝐞𝐬𝐨𝐫𝐭

A licensed small accommodation with less than ten rooms that captures the essence of warmth and homeliness, displays customer service excellence, outstanding facilities, and a personalized touch in delivering the Belize brand to its visitors. Nominees for this category were Royal Belize Belize, Wataview and Off the Wall Dive Center and Resort.

Tour Operator of the Year Award

Winner: 𝐁𝐞𝐥𝐢𝐳𝐞 𝐃𝐢𝐯𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐀𝐝𝐯𝐞𝐧𝐭𝐮𝐫𝐞𝐬

A licensed tour operator that offers a variety of tours that excel in service, marketing, creativity, uniqueness, safety, reliability, and value for money.  The tour operator shall demonstrate a strong commitment to sustainable and innovative business practices. Nominees for this category were Muy’Ono Adventures, Lamanai Eco Tours Ltd, Belize Diving Adventures, S&L Travel and Tours and Darknight & He’ll Gate Tours Ltd.

Tour Guide of the Year Award

Winner: Sherman Cain 

A licensed tour guide demonstrating a wealth of knowledge and ability to capture the attention of an audience. Additionally, the tour guide shall provide excellent communication and interpersonal skills, a positive attitude, creativity, and service excellence.

Frontline Person of the Year Award

Winner: Charlenne Young from Blue Zen

A frontline employee who demonstrates excellent communication and interpersonal skills, the ability to welcome guests with great Belizean hospitality, is knowledgeable about Belize, and provides a memorable experience.
Note** Includes but is not limited to front desk personnel, concierge, waitress/waiter, bartender, bellhop, etc.

Restaurant of the Year Award

Winner: Elvi’s Kitchen 

A restaurant that offers an exemplary dining experience and demonstrates service excellence. The menu offers a wide array of cultural cuisines and caters to a diverse palate. Nominees for this category were Rain Restaurant and Roof Top Terrace, The Drive House, The Paddle House and Elvi’s Kitchen.

Site of the Year Award

Winner: The Blue Hole Natural Monument 
belize blue hole

The Great Blue Hole in Belize. Photo courtesy Belize Tourism Board

A tourism site that’s frequently visited, typically for its inherent or exhibited natural or cultural value, historical significance, and natural or built beauty. This category includes but is not limited to Archaeological Sites, National Parks, Reserves, Sanctuaries, etc. Nominees for this category were Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary, The Blue Hole Natural Monument and Lamanai Archaeological Reserve.

Green Champion of the Year Award

Winner: Turneffe Flats Resort 

This award recognizes a tourism business that works responsibly, ethically, and sustainably by i.) Engaging in community service ii.)  Reducing their carbon footprint through green initiatives, iii.)  Adhering to environmental laws and best practices. Nominees for this category were Caye Caulker BTIA, Hamanasi Adventure and Dive Resort, Turneffe Atoll Sustainability Association, Turneffe Flats Resort and The Lodge at Chaa Creek

Cultural Experience of the Year Award

Winner: San Antonio Women’s Cooperative 

This award is in recognition of a truly authentic cultural experience that highlights Belize’s multifaceted heritage that:  i.) creates substantial economic impact, ii.) attract visitors (local and international), iii.) generate national or international media profiles; iv.) Promotes or contributes to the survival of cultural knowledge or practice. Nominees for this category were San Antonio Women’s Cooperative, Gloria Lambey (Tugucina ) and San Pedro Lobster Fest.

Health and Wellness Provider of the Year Award

Winner: Om Shanti Belize Yoga and Wellness Center and School 

A tourism business entity will be recognized in Belize’s National Tourism Awards in 2022 for offering a well-rounded wellness program that addresses mental, physical, or spiritual health and wellness.Nominees for this category were Hamanasi Adventure and Dive Resort, Om Shanti Belize Yoga and Wellness Center and School, One Love Medical Center and Belize Boutique Resort and Spa.

Header image via Belize Tourism Board.

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