The recently held African Diaspora World Tourism Awards (ADWTA) staged in Atlanta, Georgia set a new agenda for cultural heritage tourism. The 2016 awards were designed to provide intimate and productive buyer and supplier meetings with international delegates. Delegates from Gambia, Sierra Leone, Zimbabwe and Nigeria expressed interest in working with Kitty Pope, her Atlanta-based conference producers, and delegates from the Caribbean to develop sustainable tourism products and services.
The Awards Ceremony was held at the well-known Room at 12 Restaurant on August 29, 2016 at 7:00 p.m. In the early afternoon Visitors were taken to a tour of Atlanta from 1:00 p.m.- 4:00 p.m. This was followed the next day by a Cultural Heritage Breakfast Seminar where all delegates presented on their respective countries.
Honorees and Awardees present received their awards. Three delegates from Jamaica were awarded: Diana McIntyre-Pike, Jamaica’s International Community Tourism pioneer, was inducted in the ADWTA Hall of Fame for Cultural Heritage Tourism and also nominated as the Pan African Caribbean Ambassador for Jamaica. Jamaica’s distinctive Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett was inducted into the ADWTA Hall of Fame for Cultural Heritage and also received an award for Outstanding Caribbean Tourism Minister. Sharon Parris-Chambers, CEO, Let’s Do it in the Caribbean, received the ADWTA Media and Marketing Source of Distinction Award, as well as, the Hall of Fame Award for Dedicated Service in Cultural Heritage Tourism. She presented on LetsDoitintheCaribbean.com and AccessJamaica.com, a portal that hosts Accesscommunitytourism.com.
Diana McIntyre-Pike presented Countrystyle Caribbean Villages as Businesses vacations, products, arts and crafts (Accesscommunitytourism.com) at the Cultural Heritage Breakfast hosted by Twin Tourism founders Oguntoye Kehinde Oladele and Oguntoye Taiwo Oye. The Seminar was also attended by business persons, dignitaries and representatives such as: USA (Ruth Riley for Representative for Congressman John Lewis, US House of Representatives); Sierra Leone (Hon. Adrian Dixon Fofanah, Deputy Minister of Tourism); Gambia (Ida Jeng-Njie, Director of Tourism, International; Ambassador to Washington, D.C. as well as, Gambia’s Tourism Minister) and Zimbabwe each presenting on behalf of their respective countries. The event was generously sponsored by Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. Eugene Franklin, CEO, National Cultural Heritage Tourism Center, Inc. and sponsor, presented a synopsis of his economic empowerment paradigm. He also recognized the power of sustainable touri sm as a vehicle for development of Villages as Businesses to attract tourists from the Southern US belt, as well as, Let’s Do it in the Caribbean’s model for One Caribbean Marketplace as lynchpin opportunities for economic empowerment of the African-American community. The Pan African Caribbean Ambassadors, McIntyre-Pike and Parris-Chambers received their portfolios in a separate meeting and will take up their assignments after being fully briefed.
Support from the members of the Jamaican community who pledged to help Countrystyle Villages as Businesses programme, found currency with Mrs McIntyre-Pike. One of the distinguished partners, Allan Alberga, Atlanta-based lawyer, shared his perspective “Diana met with some members of the Jamaican community who pledged to secure some financial support for the establishment of Community Tourism Trust Fund (COMTRUST) It was felt by those in the meeting that Community Tourism was a most necessary ingredient for the tourism mix.”
The generous support of the following sponsors made travel to the Awards possible: Lee Issa, Couples Swept Away Resort Negril; Earl Jarrett, Jamaica National; Caribic/Olympia Tours Montego Bay; Goblin Hill at San San Portland; Mark Swainbank, Zimbali Retreats, Westmoreland; Jamaica Exquisite Transfers and Tours, Montego Bay, St James; David Panton and Marc Panton, Panton Equity Partners Atlanta; Jamaica Standard Products Williamsfield for the coffee gift items; Allan Alberga and his wife Janice Liddell, playwright, were hosts to the Jamaican delegates.