Simmons observes World Tourism Day
The Minister of Economic Development and Tourism, the Hon. Jamahl Simmons, JP, MP today observed World Tourism Day and used the opportunity to meet visit the newly renovated Willowbank Hotel and Conference Centre along with the Ministry’s Hotel Inspectors Team.
Observed annually on September 27th, World Tourism Day was started by World Tourism Organization in 1980 to foster awareness among the international community of the importance of tourism and its social, cultural, political and economic values.
Minister Simmons said: “I am honored to mark World Tourism Day on the property of the recently reopened Willowbank Hotel alongside our hardworking Hotel Inspectors. World Tourism Day provides an opportunity to celebrate the hardworking men and women that have, for generations created the “Bermuda-ful Experience,” creating an environment where visitors feel welcome, safe and inspired to return again and again. We celebrate our hotel workers, our taxi drivers, vacation rental owners, bus and ferry operators as they work alongside all of Bermuda in ensuring that our island home continues to be the most wonderful place to visit in the world. We thank you for your hard work, your sacrifice and your continuing efforts to give everyone who visits the most “Bermuda-ful” experience.”
Minister Simmons added, “I stand alongside our Hotel Inspectors, a group that have gone unheralded and uncelebrated as they work diligently to ensure our hotels are of the highest standard. I salute them and thank them for their service. As we stand here at Willowbank, we cannot help to feel excited about the future of tourism in Bermuda. The return to operation of the historic Willowbank Hotel is noteworthy as it marks not only the return of additional beds to our hotel stock and not only jobs and opportunities for Bermudians; it also speaks to the growing sense of optimism surrounding Bermuda and Bermudian opportunity in tourism.”
The Tourism Regulation and Policy Unit consist of Senior Manager, Rhonda Woods-Smith, Compliance Officers/Hotel Inspectors, Carlos O. Durham, and Aaran Swan and Administrative Assistants, Chanel Burchall and Tina Ming (seconded).
In accordance with the Hotels (Licensing and Control) Act and Regulations 1969, the Compliance Officers/Hotel Inspectors inspect all aspects of licensed accommodations including hotels and vacation rental properties. This includes inspection of bedrooms, bathrooms, guest rooms, guest kitchens, restaurants, common areas, public recreational areas and exterior areas such as pools and gyms. And in the case of Willowbank, the Compliance Officers/Hotel Inspectors carry out additional inspections whenever a hotel or vacation rental has been expanded, renovated or upgraded.
Tricia Shastri, Willowbank General Manager said, “I wish to thank Minister Jamahl Simmons for choosing ‘Willowbank Resort’, as the destination hotel to mark the start of ‘World Tourism Day’, by having a tour along with the Ministry’s Hotel Inspection Team. It was a privilege to show off this beautiful oceanfront property and have the opportunity to discuss its success since the rebranding of the resort last April. We continue to be an all Bermudian staff who love Willowbank and have welcomed many guests from all walks of life, especially from families, celebratory events and sporting groups. Due to the success of this season and the securement of new bookings, Willowbank Resort’s future is indeed looking very bright.”
Minister Simmons was accompanied by Willowbank General Manager, Tricia Shastri; Reservation Manager, Dr Gina Spence and Executive Housekeeper, Roseanne Russell.
• Press release from the Ministry of Economic Development and Tourism