Thursday 15 November, 2018

Diaspora writer tops Tourism awards in New York

Winning journalists gather for a group photo toward the end of the awards ceremony.

Winning journalists gather for a group photo toward the end of the awards ceremony.

Kristin Braswell took top honours at the Caribbean Tourism Industry Awards gala, staged on Thursday night by the Caribbean Tourism Organisation (CTO) at the Wyndham New Yorker during Caribbean Week New York.

Braswell, a prolific travel writer and founder of CrushGlobal Travel, received Best Feature by a Diasporan Journalist as well as Most Outstanding Entry overall for “Empathy Not Embargoes,” an article chronicling her experience in Cuba for Essence.

“Receiving these awards is an incredible honour as both a journalist and lover of the Caribbean,” Braswell said.

“Bringing light to Havana, a destination that does not always receive the glitz and accolades of other places, is important to me because it allows its people to be a part of the conversation, and to remind us all that they have a story to tell. I want to express my sincere gratitude to the Caribbean Tourism Organisation for this honour,” she said. “I look forward to shedding more light on the beauty of my favourite part of the world.”

The expanded awards programme introduced new categories for social media influencers and campaigns in recognition of the changing media landscape and increasing relevance of non-traditional media.

St. Lucia took home the award for Best Social Media Marketing Campaign, while more than 70 percent of CTO’s member countries were featured in the collective works, produced last year, of award recipients, including: Anguilla, Antigua, Bahamas, Barbados, Bonaire, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Curaçao, Cuba, Dominica, Grenada, Jamaica, Martinique, Puerto Rico, St. Kitts & Nevis, St. Martin, St. Vincent & The Grenadines and Turks & Caicos.

The full list of media award recipients includes:

  • Best Feature by a Diasporan Journalist and Most Outstanding Entry: Kristin Braswell for “Empathy Not Embargoes” in Essence
  • Best Online Feature: Alexander Britell for “Following Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in Bimini” in Caribbean Journal 
  • Best Feature by a Caribbean-based Journalist that appeared in Caribbean-based media: Kinisha Correia for “More Than Just Beads: Story and Myth” in Panache
  • Best Consumer Magazine Feature: Rosalind Cummings-Yeates for “Home For A Hamilton” in USA Today Go Escape
  • Best Photograph: Patrick Dykstra for a photo of a sperm whale off the coast of Dominica, published in conjunction with Elaine Glusac’s “What's New in the Caribbean” in The New York Times
  • Best Feature Broadcast: Darley Newman for “Travels with Darley in Martinique,” which aired on PBS and is now available via Amazon Prime
  • Most Outstanding Social Media Coverage: Yashekia Powell for her coverage of the Jamaica Food & Drink Festival
  • Best Consumer Newspaper Feature: Jesse Serwer for “Grenada’s Grand Anse” in the New York Daily News
  • Best Trade Feature: Ed Wetschler for “8 Resorts Whose Kids Programs Teach Real Skills” in Recommend
  • Best Social Media Marketing Campaign: St. Lucia for “Let Her Inspire You”

Led by Yuriy Boykiv, CEO at Gravity Media, entries were evaluated by a distinguished panel of media and industry judges, including:

  • Yuriy Boykiv, CEO at Gravity Media, LLC, responsible for the entire spectrum of global markets in his previous role driving the growth and business for the WorldDirect platform as Director of International Business at DIRECTV
  • Tiffany Dowd, Founder and President, Luxe Social Media, advises luxury travel brands on social media marketing and online strategy and was recognised among the “25 Best Luxury Digital Experts To Follow”
  • Tony Fraser, a veteran journalist with over 40 years of experience, a graduate in journalism, history, sociology, politics and economics, and international affairs, and part-time lecturer in journalism at the University of the West Indies, St Augustine campus
  • Terry Gallagher, President, Lou Hammond Group, New York, and destination marketing leader with over 30 years’ experience planned and implemented strategic campaigns in the travel industry that resulted in award-winning placements
  • Mark Edward Harris, award-winning travel/documentary photographer whose work has appeared in Condé Nast Traveler, Forbes Life, Islands, National Geographic Traveler, Playboy, Marie Claire, The New York Times and Vanity Fair
  • Andrea Hutchinson, a dynamic public relations expert and freelance events director with a degree in journalism and public relations, and experience in sponsor relations, marketing, logistics and creating strategic alliances on behalf of global brands
  • Josh Kahn, a well-respected tourism industry consultant and public relations specialist at award-winning boutique agency KTCpr as well as Immediate Past Chairman for the prestigious New York Chapter of the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA)
  • Norie Quintos, award-winning journalist and Editor at Large for National Geographic Travel Media helping destinations and travel companies find and tell their stories as a consultant on communications strategy, media relations, custom content and messaging
  • Ruthanne Terrero, Vice President - Content/Editorial Director at Questex Travel Group, which includes Travel Agent Magazine, Luxury Travel Advisor, American Spa and Hotel Management, among other well-respected titles