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Grenadian Hotelier Sir Royston O. Hopkin, KCMG, Receives Caribbean
Tourism Organization Lifetime Achievement Award



NEW YORK, NY (June 13, 2011) – Sir Royston O. Hopkin, KCMG, owner and chairman of Spice Island Beach Resort (http://www.SpiceIslandBeachResort.com) in Grenada, has received the ultimate honor from the Caribbean governments with the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) Lifetime Achievement Award for 2011.  He is the first hotelier and Grenadian to receive this accolade from the governments which follows his being knighted by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II as well as a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Caribbean Hotel & Tourism Association (CHTA).

He was presented with the prestigious CTO Lifetime Achievement Award at the Rhythms of the Caribbean Ball at the Plaza Hotel in New York on June 10.

Caption (l-r): CHTA Director General & CEO Alec Sanguinetti,
Prime Minister of Grenada Hon. Tillman Thomas, Sir Royston Hopkin
and Senator Hon. Ricky Skerritt, Chairman of CTO


“It is a true honor to be recognized by the Caribbean governments and the ministers and directors of tourism with the CTO Lifetime Achievement Award,” said Sir Royston, who used his acceptance speech to appeal to Caribbean prime ministers, tourism ministers and other government officials to commit to a policy-driven strategic approach to a consolidated regional marketing program for the Caribbean.

"For years we have been unable to get together while other regions of the world have been promoting themselves in a unified manner," said Sir Royston.  "These regions will surpass us if we don't get our act together," he cautioned.

"If we can recognize that travel and tourism is so important to our economies as the single largest contributor to GDP in the Caribbean, isn't it high time we commit ourselves to a sustainable approach to marketing?

"We need a joint marketing program, not only for the U.S., but for all of North America, the UK and Europe," challenged Sir Royston.  "And it needs to be policy driven.

"Once our governments agree on a consolidated program that is policy driven, the entire private sector will get behind it – the Caribbean Hotel & Tourism Association, the airlines, all tourism stakeholders coming together as one unit.

"We've been talking for two decades, but have achieved little momentum because we're competing against each other instead of pooling our resources.  And as we are fragmented, so has been the private sector's support for our largest industry.  And now it's reached the point where we're falling behind as a region," noted Sir Royston.

"The world is in such dire financial crisis, we can't afford to continue with business as usual.  As the backbone of our economies, tourism deserves more than just lip service.  Now is the time to come together.  It's a simple matter of survival."

Sir Royston's impassioned plea to Caribbean governments was equally balanced with remarks of elation and gratitude:

“I am fortunate to be able to contribute to both Grenada and the wider Caribbean community and thankful for the recognition that my efforts over the years have received.  I thank all of those with whom I have worked in Grenada and throughout the region, and I hope to have touched their lives in some small way as all of them have enriched my life over the past 47 years.

“I firmly believe in the richness of the Caribbean's natural resources and culture, and am proud to work each day for the sustainability of our region's tourism.  My career has blessed my family with opportunities to live, learn and share and we strive to always offer our time, talent and resources to help others achieve their dreams – from vacations, to employment, to the overall betterment of the region.”


Caption (l-r): CHTA Director General & CEO Alec Sanguinetti, Prime Minister of Grenada Hon. Tillman Thomas,
Nerissa Hopkin, Sir Royston Hopkin, Lady Betty Hopkin, Janelle Hopkin, Ryan Hopkin and Arnold Hopkin


The CTO Lifetime Achievement Award honors long-serving, high-performance professionals whose careers have truly made a difference in the Caribbean.  The award is for achievement over a period of several years rather than a single contribution.  It recognizes achievement that distinguishes the individual's work and provides a legacy for future generations.

“Sir Royston has been a faithful servant of Grenadian and Caribbean tourism and his dedication has been fully demonstrated through his many outstanding achievements,” said Hugh Riley, CTO's secretary general.

Sir Royston joins a list of prominent figures to receive the CTO Lifetime Achievement Award, including: Harry Belafonte; Sir Sidney Poitier; Cicely Tyson; New York Congressman Charles Rangel; American Airlines Senior Vice President Peter Dolara; former Barbados Tourism Minister Dame Billie Miller; the former West Indies cricketer Wes Hall; University of the West Indies Professor Rex Nettleford; founder of Black Enterprise magazine Earl Gilbert Graves, Sr.; the organization’s first Secretary General Jean Holder; and last year’s winner Dame Yvonne Maginley.

A virtual lifetime of high performance, dedicated service to his country and the Caribbean, Sir Royston has had an extensive and distinguished 47-year career of outstanding service in the hospitality and tourism sector.

Sir Royston began his tourism career when he joined the family business at the Ross Point Inn in 1965.  Then, at the age of 20, he was appointed to the Grenada Board of Tourism where he served for 18 consecutive years.  He holds the distinction of being the first Grenadian to be elected president of the Grenada Hotel Association (an accomplishment at the age of 24), a position he held 14 times.

In the ensuing years, Sir Royston's contributions have touched almost every sector of Grenadian society, with his luxury award-winning Spice Island Beach Resort employing more than 200 people.  Sir Royston established a scholarship fund for needy children from which 110 students have benefitted, many of whom have gone on to successful careers in the private and public sectors.  He has also worked with the Grenada Union of Teachers and the Ministry of Education to enlighten educators about the tourism industry and has hosted 200 teachers and their spouses at his resort for a weekend to give them an opportunity to understand the hotel component of the industry.

Regionally, Sir Royston has served in various capacities in CHTA including many years on the Board of Directors and a two-year term as president followed by chairman of the association.  He founded the Small Hotels Committee, which today is still one of the most important sub-committees of that organization.

He is also a member of CHTA’s executive committee and is founding member and chairman of the Caribbean Alliance for Sustainable Tourism (CAST), the largest private sector sustainable organization in the region.

Sir Royston is the recipient of several prestigious awards including CHTA’s coveted “Hotelier of the Year” honor (in 1991), Grenada’s Silver Anniversary Independence Awards for 25 years of dedicated service, and several other awards from the Grenada Hotel Association.  The CTO previously honored Sir Royston for 25 years of loyalty and service to the region.

Perhaps his greatest honor occurred in December 2004, when Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II graciously conferred the title of Knight Commander of The Most Distinguished Order of St. Michael and St. George (KCMG) for his contribution to tourism in Grenada and throughout the Caribbean.  Sir Royston is married to Lady Hopkin (Betty), and has three children, Ryan, Nerissa and Janelle.

For more information about the award-winning 64-suite Spice Island Beach Resort, visit www.SpiceIslandBeachResort.com, call 473-444-4258 or e-mail: reservations@spicebeachresort.com.

For further information on the CTO Lifetime Achievement Award, visit www.onecaribbean.org or contact the CTO New York office at CTOny@caribtourism.com.
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Contact:

KTCpr
Josh Kahn/Leigh-Mary Kearney
J.Kahn@KTCpr.com or LM.Kearney@KTCpr.com
Telephone: (516) 594-4100
 


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Also See: Caribbean Alliance for Sustainable Tourism (CAST) Re-Elects Sir Royston O. Hopkin, KCMG, as Chairman for Fourth Consecutive Term / July 2009

Spice Island Beach Resort, Grenada, a Two Decade Journey Under the Ownership of Sir Royston O. Hopkin and Family / January 2008

Grenadian Hotelier Royston Hopkin Receives Knighthood Title from Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II / May 2005
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