Tourism director-general gains top regional award

The Bahamas' tourism director-general has received the Caribbean Tourism Industry's Allied Award for her work on the industry's sustainable development.

Joy Jibrilu was presented with the honour during the Caribbean Tourism Industry Awards Dinner and Fashion Show, part of the annual Caribbean Week's New York events.

She was present at the ceremony at the Wyndham New Yorker in Midtown to accept the award granted by the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) and its allied members. Mrs Jibrilu is the first Bahamian member of the Caribbean Tourism Organisation (CTO) to receive the award.

"I am extremely honoured to be receiving the Caribbean Tourism Organisation's Allied Award this year," said Mrs Jibrilu. "Promoting our spectacular Caribbean region and its sustainability is a personal passion of mine, and its good stewardship is essential for all of us. I am grateful that my colleagues in the tourism industry, and my neighboirs in the Caribbean, consider my contributions to have been so worthwhile."

Established in 2005, the Allied Award is presented to someone who has contributed to the sustainable development of the Caribbean. Eligible organisations include members of government, member airlines and cruise lines, and allied members, which includes hotels, tour operators, marketing companies, newspapers, magazines and television programming.

"It is with both respect and admiration that we recognise these business and industry icons for their tireless commitment - often beyond the call of duty - to the development of a sustainable Caribbean tourism product," said Sylma Brown, director of the CTO-USA.

Mrs Jibrilu has worked to encourage sustainable development and tourism growth for The Bahamas, with a focus on respect for the local environment, culture and people. In her role as director general, she took in May 2014, she has had oversight of the development, marketing and promotion of the tourism industry's marketing programmes.

Prior to this, she served as director of investments in the Bahamas Investment Authority (BIA), starting that role in July 2008.

In both positions, Mrs Jibrilu has been involved in negotiating and implementing some of the largest tourism investment and development projects in The Bahamas, including Atlantis and Baha Mar.

"I am a firm believer that we are all guardians of these wonderful islands that many of us get to call home, and as a result, we have an incredible responsibility to promote tourism in the most sustainable manner in order to safeguard the Caribbean for future generations," Mrs Jibrilu said.

She was one of nine industry and business professionals, in addition to 12 travel influencers from the media, to be recognised across several award categories during the event. Haitian-American Marlie Hall, an award-winning broadcast journalist and entrepreneur, alongside a former correspondent for CBS News, presided as Master of Ceremonies.