The Dominica Hotel and Tourism Association (DHTA) has recognized five people described as “very early pioneers of tourism in Dominica.”
The recognition ceremony took place at the DHTA’s 4th Annual General Meeting (AGM), which was held at the Fort Young Hotel on Thursday 6th November 2014.
Those recognized are Janice Armour, Gerry Aird, Anne Jon Baptiste, Philip Nassief and the late Derek Perryman.
Janice Armour is one of the founders of the Anchorage Hotel, which is the forerunner of whale watching and whale-related research in Dominica.
She has also pioneered safari tours and yachting services and has been helpful in promoting the island as a diving destination.
She has been described as “one of Dominica’s leading business persons.”
Gerry Aird, who is a top business man in the cruise sector, was recognized for his long standing contribution to cruise tourism.
He has been described one of the innovators in the cruise industry and cruise-related tours and is a “key factor in establishing cruise tourism as a key contributor to the economy.”
“Through his company, H.H.V. Whitchurch & Co. Ltd., he has also been a key player in facilitating air and sea transport,” the citation to Aird reads.
Anne Jon Baptiste of the Papillote Wilderness Retreat is said to have understood “eco” and “green” before anyone else did.
“She understood the magic of the product and stayed true to it…Papillote Wilderness Retreat is Dominica’s original ‘eco inn’ and remains one of the leading eco lodges in the region,” her citation reads.
Phillip Nassief, another leader in the business world, is known for the acquisition and expansion of the Fort Young Hotel and who saw the potential of Dominica’s tourism industry. The award was received by his son Gregor Nassief on his behalf.
The late Derek Perryman was the founder of the company ‘Dive Dominica’ and was recognized for his contribution to recreational diving and also as a pioneer in that field. The award was received by his daughter Arienne Perryman.
The DHTA said that the island is reaping the benefits of many years of the effort and professionalism of these pioneers in promoting Dominica as a world-class tourism destination.
Meantime, the DHTA has elected a new board of directors for the period 2014-2015.
President- Gregor Nassief
Vice President-Simon Walsh
Sheldon Bruno-Director of Finance and Fund raising
Vanessa Prevost-Director of Membership
Mavlyn James-Director of Accommodation
Arienne Perryman-Director of Tourism Services
Jacqueline Dupigny-Director of Related Services
Renne Whitchurch-Aird-Douglas- Immediate Past President
Colin Piper-CEO of Discover Dominica Authority (Now has a permanent seat on the board of Directors).