Jefferis win Caribbean award
Bermudian hotelier John Jefferis has won a prestigious Entrepreneur of the Year award, it was revealed yesterday.
Mr Jefferis — who owns Coco Reef in Paget, as well as a hotels of the same name in Tobago and Panama — won the accolade from the International Caribbean World Travel Awards.
He said: “I am honoured to receive this award. I’ve spent many years in the rewarding field of hospitality and tourism and I am particularly pleased that I have been able to live out my dream of operating businesses in the Caribbean region — one of the most beautiful and idyllic places in the world.”
He added: “I am most fortunate in having such a wonderful group of professionals as colleagues, who share my vision of customer-focused operations.
“Their dedication to, and passion for, our businesses have played an integral role in my receiving the Caribbean Entrepreneur of the Year Award.”
Mr Jefferis, a former Caribbean Hotelier of the Year, chairman and President of the Caribbean Hotel Association and the Bermuda Hotel Association, was honoured for his “exceptional contribution” to travel and tourism and for his business skills in the awards, run by Caribbean World Magazine.
Ray Carmen, founder and publisher of the periodical, said: “As Mr Jefferis continues to invest in developing and enhancing his award-winning Coco Reef resorts, the hotels maintain strong followings of guests who relish the properties’ beautiful locations, unique design and first-class service.
“With all his business ventures in the region, including airline catering, theme restaurants, residential property rentals, commercial property development and various rental businesses, Mr Jefferis has made a great contribution to the wider tourism sector. And for that, he is well-deserving of the Entrepreneur of the Year title.”
Mr Jefferis opened his Tobago resort in 1996, after selling off his hotel and property interests in Bermuda.
But he returned to the industry in the island in 2004, when he opened Coco Reef in 2004 following a $12 million revamp.
Mr Jefferis is chairman and sole shareholder of the Palm Reef Hotel Development Company and is involved in hotel development and management, a construction company, art galleries and restaurants, as well as running airline caterers Inflite in Bermuda and Tobago.
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