Amidst the sounds and colours of a Barbados Tuk Band, courtesy of headline sponsor, Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc., the big winners of the 2019 Caribbean Travel Media Awards were revealed last week at an exclusive networking evening held at the Crowne Plaza London Docklands.
Shortlisted by a panel of 14 judges representing the industry, the winners across eight categories were each awarded a prestigious trophy with Certificates for runners-up, in the presence of visiting Caribbean ministers and UK Chapter members, including individual sponsors of the awards.
Caroline Robertson-Brown, Deputy Editor of Scubaverse Media, narrowly missed out on the top spot in the Best Consumer Feature award for ‘Treasure Island Barbados’ which appeared in the WINTER 2019 issue of Dive Travel Adventures magazine – go to page 72 HERE to read!
The first place in the Best Consumer Feature award went to Ronan O’Shea for his feature ‘Antigua Beyond the Beaches’ for Escapism Magazine. In third place was Nick Redman, Sunday Times Travel Magazine, for ‘Beq in Time.’ The Best Consumer Feature award was sponsored by the Cayman Islands Department of Tourism.
Here is the full list of the 2019 Caribbean Travel Media Awards winners, runners-up (2nd and 3rd place respectively) and sponsors:
Best Travel Trade Feature
- MARTIN STEADY for ‘A Journey to Belize’, Selling Travel
- In 2nd place: Andrew Doherty, TTG with ‘Jamaica Beyond The Beaches’
- In 3rd place: Kathryn Liston, Selling Travel, with ‘My Journey – St. Vincent & the Grenadines’
Sponsor: Discover Dominica Authority
Best National Newspaper Feature
- JULIET RIX for ‘Rediscovering Dominica two years after the Hurricane’, The Telegraph and Telegraph.co.uk
- In 2nd place: Ian Belcher, The Times for ‘How Grenada turned up the heat’
- TIED with James Henderson, The Telegraph for ‘Go Organic, local… and Jamaican’
- In 3rd place: Fiona Hyde, Irish Times, for ‘Holidaying solo on the honeymooner’s island of Saint Lucia’
Sponsor: St. Kitts Tourism Authority
Best Regional Newspaper Feature
- HANNAH STEPHENSON, ‘Spice of Life Grenada’, PA Media
- In 2nd: Priya Joshi, PA Media for ‘In Jamaica, The Jamaican Way’
- In 3rd place: Jane Harris, Waterfront Magazine with ‘Happy Landings Saint Lucia’
Sponsor: Saint Lucia Tourism Authority
Best Consumer Feature
- RONAN O’SHEA for ‘Antigua Beyond the Beaches’ Escapism
- In 2nd place: Caroline Robertson-Brown, Scubaverse, for ‘Treasure Island Barbados’
- In 3rd place: Nick Redman, Sunday Times Travel Magazine, for ‘Beq in Time’
Sponsor: Cayman Islands Department of Tourism
Best Broadcast (TV & Radio) Feature
- AINSLEY HARRIOTT for Ainsley’s Caribbean Kitchen – Antigua, ITV
- In 2nd place: Greg McKenzie, BBC Travel Show for ‘Swapping dance moves for hard hats in Saint Martin’
- In 3rd place: Ainsley Harriott, Ainsley’s Caribbean Kitchen – Dominica, ITV
Sponsor: Bahamas Tourist Office
Best Online and/or Blog Feature
- MACCA SHERIFI for ‘What to do in Dominica-My Travel Guide’, An Adventurous World
- In 2nd place: Ursula Barzey, Caribbean & Co for ‘10 Islands To Visit in St Vincent & The Grenadines’
- TIED WITH
- Laura French, Lonely Planet, for ‘Wildlife, beaches and rum: Embracing Guadeloupe’s rustic charm’
- In 3rd place: Heather Cowper, Heather on her Travels for ‘Kaaboo Cayman Review’
- TIED WITH Ella Alexander, Harper’s Bazaar (Online) for ‘Beyond the beaches, a cultural guide to Jamaica’
Sponsor: Tobago Tourism Agency
Best Social Media Campaign
- #WhatCoolLooksLike campaign for TRAVERSE ANTIGUA CONFERENCE 2019
- In 2nd place: Charlie and Jess Wild for Kuoni & the Travel Project ‘Secret Antigua’
- In 3rd place: Ursula Barzey, Caribbean & Co for ‘Celebrating Creole Day& Other Things To Do In Saint Lucia’
Sponsor: Cayman Islands Department of Tourism
Best Caribbean Round Up
- AUDREY GILLAN & NICOLA TRUP for ‘A Caribbean Cook Up’, National Geographic Traveller
- In 2nd place: Lucy Thackray, Mandarin Oriental Magazine for ‘Six luxury trips from Canouan’
- In 3rd place: Jo Cooke, Travel Weekly for ‘Eight of the best Caribbean Cities’
Sponsor: Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc.
Carol Hay, the CTO’s director of marketing for UK and Europe, said: “Congratulations to all the finalists and winners in the 2019 awards; the Caribbean Travel Media Awards have successively drawn a high standard of entries in all categories, each entry playing their part in raising awareness of the Caribbean as a region, and this year has been no exception.
“I would like to personally thank all the entrants who took time to submit their entries and express my gratitude to our headline sponsor, Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc, our individual award sponsors who very generously provided the prizes and the Judges for taking time out to review the entries.”
Find out more about the work of the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) at www.onecaribbean.org.
Get a FREE undersuit when you buy a trilaminate drysuit from Scubapro
IT’S TRILAMINATE TIME!
SCUBAPRO is launching its 2024 drysuit promotion:
With the purchase of a trilaminate drysuit EVERTECH DRY BREATHABLE or DEFINITION DRY, SCUBAPRO gives you the matching K2 EXTREME undersuit (GBP 345) for free.
If that’s not a reason to start drysuit diving, because in our climate it’s drysuit season all year round! So don’t miss out – the promotion is valid until May 31, 2024 at participating SCUBAPRO retailers and in participating regions.
All information at https://scubapro.johnsonoutdoors.com/eu/en-gb/free-k2.
Diving with Frogfish in Costa Rica: A Hidden Gem Underwater
In the vast and vibrant underwater world of Costa Rica, there’s a peculiar creature that often goes unnoticed but holds a special place in the hearts of divers: the frogfish. This enigmatic and somewhat odd-looking species is a master of camouflage and a marvel of marine life. Diving with frogfish in Costa Rica is not just a dive; it’s an adventurous treasure hunt that rewards the patient and observant with unforgettable encounters. Let’s dive into the world of frogfish and discover what makes these creatures so fascinating and where you can find them in Costa Rica.
The Mystique of Frogfish
Frogfish belong to the family Antennariidae, a group of marine fish known for their incredible ability to blend into their surroundings. They can be found in a variety of colors, including yellow, pink, red, green, black, and white, and they often have unique spots and textures that mimic the coral and sponges around them. This camouflage isn’t just for show; it’s a critical survival tactic that helps them ambush prey and avoid predators.
One of the most remarkable features of the frogfish is its modified dorsal fin, which has evolved into a luring appendage called an esca. The frogfish uses this esca to mimic prey, such as small fish or crustaceans, enticing unsuspecting victims close enough to be engulfed by its surprisingly large mouth in a fraction of a second. This method of hunting is a fascinating spectacle that few divers forget once witnessed.
Where to Find Frogfish in Costa Rica
Costa Rica’s Pacific coast is dotted with dive sites that offer the chance to encounter these intriguing creatures. Bat Islands (Islas Murciélagos), Catalina Islands (Islas Catalinas), and the area around the Gulf of Papagayo are renowned for their rich marine life, including frogfish. These sites vary in depth and conditions, catering to both novice and experienced divers.
The key to spotting frogfish is to dive with a knowledgeable guide who can point out these master camouflagers hiding in plain sight. They’re often found perched on rocky outcroppings, nestled within coral, or even hiding among debris, perfectly mimicking their surroundings.
Diving Tips for Spotting Frogfish
Go Slow: The secret to spotting frogfish is to move slowly and scan carefully. Their camouflage is so effective that they can be right in front of you without being noticed.
Look for Details: Pay attention to the small details. A slightly different texture or an out-of-place color can be the clue you need.
Dive with Local Experts: Local dive guides have an eagle eye for spotting wildlife, including frogfish. Their expertise can significantly increase your chances of an encounter.
Practice Buoyancy Control: Good buoyancy control is essential not just for safety and coral preservation but also for getting a closer look without disturbing these delicate creatures.
Be Patient: Patience is key. Frogfish aren’t known for their speed, and sometimes staying in one spot and observing can yield the best sightings.
Conservation and Respect
While the excitement of spotting a frogfish can be thrilling, it’s crucial to approach all marine life with respect and care. Maintain a safe distance, resist the urge to touch or provoke, and take only photos, leaving behind nothing but bubbles. Remember, the health of the reef and its inhabitants ensures future divers can enjoy these incredible encounters as much as you do.
Join the Adventure
Diving with frogfish in Costa Rica is just one of the many underwater adventures that await in this biodiverse paradise. Whether you’re a seasoned diver or taking your first plunge, the waters here offer an unparalleled experience filled with wonders at every turn. Beyond the thrill of the hunt for frogfish, you’ll be treated to a world teeming with incredible marine life, majestic rays, playful dolphins, and so much more.
So, gear up, dive in, and let the mysteries of Costa Rica’s underwater realm unfold before your eyes. With every dive, you’re not just exploring the ocean; you’re embarking on an adventure that highlights the beauty, complexity, and fragility of our marine ecosystems. And who knows? Your next dive might just be the one where you come face-to-face with the elusive and captivating frogfish. Join us at Rocket Frog Divers for the dive of a lifetime, where the marvels of the ocean are waiting to be discovered.
About the Author: Jonathan Rowe
Are you looking to make a splash online? As a seasoned diver and digital marketer, I specialize in crafting bespoke websites and innovative marketing strategies for dive shops worldwide. With my expertise, your business will not only be seen but also remembered.
From deep-sea to digital depths, I navigate the complex waters of web development and online marketing, ensuring your dive shop stands out in the vast ocean of the internet. Contact Scuba Dive Marketing for more information.
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