#TurksandCaicos, March 11, 2021 – Annually, the members of the Turks & Caicos Hotel and Tourism Association host a night of celebration, applauding the exceptional service and achievements of employees in the hospitality sector.
This year, the 13th annual TCHTA Star Awards focused on the efforts of those in the industry and on the front-line who showed selfless commitment to their teams and to the wider Turks and Caicos communities.
The closure of the country’s borders due to COVID-19 delivered a devastating blow to the tourism sector; the largest industry and revenue-generator in Turks and Caicos. Still, these Pandemic Icons went above and beyond to do their part in maintaining the strength and vitality of the sector and the country at large.
Many of the country’s most anticipated events have been cancelled because of COVID-19. Todd Foss, President of the TCHTA, said it was important to the association that it not lose the opportunity to give accolades to these beacons in the community. “The heroism and selflessness shown by employees in the tourism industry and by the essential workers in our community is something we are honoured to pay tribute to. We are thankful to the Board of Directors and members of the association for their continued support of this event, and especially thankful to The Palms for providing a venue and protocol team to assist us in producing this special edition of the TCHTA Star Awards.”
In contrast to the fanfare of the sold-out formal event held a year ago, this year’s ceremony was limited to awardees and their managers in strict adherence to COVID-19 protocols. Awardees were scheduled in groups and set to arrive every half hour. A greeter ensured each group was sanitized and properly distanced as they filed onto the lawn, and seating was spaced appropriately. Once awards were received, the awardees exited the space immediately and the resort team re-sanitized the area in preparation for the next group.
Despite the strict protocols, the beauty of the event left nothing to be desired. The perfectly manicured Croquet Lawn was immaculately decorated with confetti-filled balloons in the event’s signature black, white and gold colours, and each group provided with white parasols to keep them shaded. Take-away breakfasts sponsored by The Palms and Beaches Turks & Caicos were available to guests as they exited.
Stacy Cox, CEO of the association shared her excitement at the execution of Pandemic Icon Awards, “This year’s event was intimate, yet dynamic. Our awardees have exceeded the standard set by the TCHTA. They are gold-star individuals who embody the true spirit of the Star Awards. We are ecstatic that the event was so seamlessly executed, and that our new Minister of Tourism, Hon Josephine Connolly could join the festivities. The TCHTA is proud of the accomplishments of these hard-working tourism professionals, and those of our essential workers who have dedicated themselves to working keeping Turks and Caicos healthy and safe.”
Along with the tourism employees, special awards were given to Ministry of Health, the Royal Turks & Caicos Islands Police Force, Interhealth Canada, and The Salvation Army for their work in the communities throughout the pandemic. Cargo Express, TCI Distributors, and the TCHTA Community Staples committee were also awarded for the accomplishments of the feeding program held last year.
Hon Matthew Stubbs was in attendance as shadow Minister to the Minister of Tourism, Hon Josephine Connolly, who gave the keynote address and joined in the presentation of the awards. Mr. Jeff Morgan, General Manager at The Palms, delivered the welcome address. Ms. Sonia Simmons, TCHTA Communications Manager, was Mistress of Ceremonies.
Press Release: TCHTA