GIMIES Dubbed Night To Remember – St. Lucia Times

The content originally appeared on: St. Lucia Times News

As the flashing lights illuminate the stage, the awardees in the second edition of the GIMIES were beaming with excitement as the majority had received an award for the first time in their lives.

From the Craft and Souvenir Retailer of the Year to the Tourism Innovation awardee, and most employees of the year, the GIMIES revealed those who work assiduously in their various vocations, to add immense value to the tourism product.

The GIMIES – the Saint Lucia Tourism Awards is presented by Ministry of Tourism, in collaboration with the Saint Lucia Tourism Authority, Saint Lucia Hospitality and Tourism Association and Tourism Enhancement Fund, in celebration of service excellence in the tourism industry.

As the awards evolve, so too have the many public and private sector partners who  contributed to the success of this event:

Gold Star Partner Taiwan along with Ultra-Premium Partners Flow St. Lucia, Courts Ready Finance, Courts Business Solutions, Heineken Saint Lucia, Piton Beer, and Caribbean Metals.

Premium Partners  –  Bank of Saint Lucia, Saint Lucia Electricity Services, Republic Bank Ltd, Digicel St Lucia, Heineken Saint Lucia, 1st National Bank and Barbay Ltd. and  Supporting Partners  –  UWI Global Campus, Alliance Francais, Harry Edwards Jeweler’s, Bel Jou Hotel, Fond Doux Resort, Calabash Cove St Lucia, Ti Kaye Resort, Landing Beach Resort and Spa, Anse Chastanet Resort, Jade Mountain, Baron Foods, Sugar Beach Viceroy and Sea Spray.

Awardees  each received the coveted GIMIE or trophy in recognition of stellar service for their unwavering commitment to excellence. The GIMIES are divided into two categories; individual and organizational awardees. This year’s winners come from a cross section of the community and embody what makes Saint Lucia unique and a sought-after destination.


Lifetime Award – Carmelita Xavier, CEO of Solar Tour & Travel, My Kind of Travel, and agent for UPS & Aeropost
Youth in Tourism – Randy La Fontaine, Owner of Villa Aura & Top Notch Tours
People’s Choice – Jn Louis Mathurin, Owner and Tour Guide at Father Nature Adventures
Tourism and Hospitality Student of the Year – Tara Gongazue, student at UWI Open Campus
Craft and Souvenir Retailer of the Year – Fuchen Gabriel, Owner of 758 Organic Glow
Independent Restaurant Employee of the Year – Jonel Duncan, Operations and Marketing Manager at Big Chef Steak House
Independent Tour Guide of the Year – Jn Louis Mathurin, Owner and Tour Guide of Father Nature Adventures
Port Employee of the Year – Kyle Richards, Cargo Management Systems Officer at SLASPA
Marine Based Transportation Employee –  Merlika Modeste, Captain at Sea Spray Cruises
Land Based Transportation Employee of the Year – Iselma Philip, Tour Supervisor at Hibiscus Tours St Lucia
Sites and Adventure Employee of the Year – Sirmarntha Denys, Sulphur Springs Park Tour Guide at SRDF
Collection de Pepites Employee of the Year – Whitney Rogers, Operations Manager at Sugarmon Villa
Small Hotel Employee – Eustace Augustin, Property and Maintenance Manager at Ladera Resort
Medium Hotel Employee of the Year – Magaran Philip, Supervisor at Sugar Beach, A Viceroy Resort
Large Hotel Employee – John Jean Baptiste, Lobby Host at Windjammer Landing Villa Beach Resort
Special Recognition
Kenneth Phillip, President of Southern Taxi Association for Meritorious Contributions to Tourism Transportation

Patrick Michaud, C and M Touring  for Meritorious Contributions to Tourism Transportation


Tourism Social Impact Award – Sugar Beach, a Viceroy Resort
Tourism Education and Training Award – Royalton Saint Lucia
Tourism Innovation Award – Cacoa Sainte Lucie
Sustainable Tourism Award – Hotel Chocolat
Community Based Tourism Organization – Soufriere Regional Development Foundation
Wedding / Events Planner of the Year –  By Charlie Ltd
Destination Management Company– Cox & Company Ltd
Independent Restaurant of the Year – Jacques Waterfront Dining
Marine Based Transportation Business of the Year –  Hackshaws Boat Charters
Land Based Transportation Business of the Year – Hibiscus Tours St Lucia
Sites and Adventure Business of the Year – Sulphur Springs Park (SRDF)
Collection de Pepites Property of the Year – Villa Aura
Small Hotel Property of the Year – Hotel Chocolat
Medium Hotel Property of the Year – The Landings Resort and Spa
Large Hotel Property of the Year – Sandals Grande Saint Lucian Spa & Beach Resort
Special Recognition – Gros Islet Vendors Association

SOURCE: Ministry of Tourism