CTO announces an esteemed panel of Judges for the 2018 Caribbean Travel Media Awards

The Caribbean Tourism Organisation is proud to announce its confirmed panel of seven judges for the 2018 Caribbean Travel Media Awards.  The judging panel, made up of high-profile individuals representing the travel industry and media, will review the entries across ten categories via a strict criteria and points system. The highest scoring entries will be put forward as finalists next month on 24 October 2018. 

The Judging Panel includes:

David Kevan, Product Manager at Chic Locations: A Fellow of the Institute of Travel & Tourism, David is an industry veteran, highly regarded for his almost Guru knowledge of the travel industry.  CHIC Locations is the 4th tour operation he has successfully launched after Tradewinds, Simply Tropix and Tropical Locations. He has in- depth knowledge of the Caribbean, with family still residing on several islands.

Vivianne McGrath, Director of Mot Mot Travel: Born and raised in the Caribbean, Vivianne is part of a brother and sister team who founded independent travel company, Mot Mot Travel, in 2004. It was their joint passion for the islands that persuaded Vivianne to leave a successful career in art and design to concentrate on promoting holidays in the Caribbean area particularly aimed at those who would like to go beyond the usual tourist experience, such as nature lovers and bird watchers.

Claire Irvin, Head of Travel Editorial, for the Telegraph Media Group: As Head of Travel Editorial at the Telegraph, Claire has over 20 years’ experience in leading expert, innovative and agenda-setting creative teams.  She is also a self-confessed hotel junkie, destination addict and wine traveller, the author of six Sunday Times bestsellers and a regular spokesperson for TV, Radio & YouTube.

Peter Grace, Founder and Owner of Bespoke Travel Marketing: Peter is a travel industry professional with extensive experience across both long-haul tour operating and international hotel and resort sales & marketing. A dynamic leader, communicator and negotiator with a strategic, creative and analytical approach to business development, marketing, brand building and product innovation he has built up Bespoke Travel to an agency that helps hotels & resorts optimise their business from the UK & European marketplace.

Debbie Marshall, MD of Silver Travel Advisor: Debbie has over 30 years of travel experience having worked with Crystal Holidays and Jetsave as well as villa specialist CV Villas. The Caribbean is one of her favourite destinations and she has been inaugurated into the Association of Women Travel Executives '60 for 60' influential women.

Steve Hartridge, Editorial Director at BMI Publishing: Steve graduated from the University of Kent with a BA in American Studies and obtained a Master’s degree from Virginia Tech in the USA.  As Editorial Director at BMI, Steve oversees a range of both trade and consumer titles, the Caribbean Tourism Organisation’s annual ‘Your Guide to the Caribbean’ and flagship magazine, Selling Travel, targeting travel agents and other retailers at the sharp end of selling holidays.

Joining the above panel is the CTO’s very own Johnson Johnrose:  A Communications Specialist with the CTO, Johnson is a former BBC- trained journalist, broadcaster and media trainer reporting on a wide range of Caribbean topics including politics, economics and tourism. He has also covered international events relevant to the Caribbean including Commonwealth Heads of Government meetings, OAS and CARICOM.

Carol Hay, the CTO’s director of marketing for UK and Europe, said “I’m delighted with the line-up of this year’s judges, each of whom brings to the table not only their wealth of experience in the travel industry, but also of the Caribbean.  The awards showcase the best of the Caribbean across the media celebrating each island’s uniqueness and appeal and it’s the endorsements we receive from judges that keep these awards going from strength to strength.”

“I thank them for the task they are about to undertake and, of course, later we are looking forward to celebrating their findings.”  

The Caribbean Media Awards, now in their 12th year, celebrate and reward the very best representation of the Caribbean by the media industry in the areas of story-telling, social media, broadcast and photography.  Within each category, points are awarded for the Best representation of the Caribbean as an attractive region to travel to; Best representation of the island featured within the Category; Best promotion of the key USP’s of the island featured within the Category and, finally, Originality of the campaign, article, video or blog.  

Applications are welcomed from the Media as well as Caribbean tourist boards, tour operators, hotels and other industry partners including their PR and representation companies based in the UK.  Entries can be news stories, travel articles, photography, broadcast features and social media campaigns and must present the Caribbean in a positive light, encouraging travel to the region.

The closing date for entries is Friday 12 October with the finalists to be announced on Wednesday 24 October.

The winners of the 2018 CTO Travel Media Awards will be announced at an exclusive networking evening at the Fox @Excel, close to WTM, on Monday 5 November, 2018. 

Submit your entries here