jennifer-prendergastTORONTO, CANADA (26 June, 2014) – Magazines, newspapers and blogs are key sources of travel research for potential Caribbean visitors.  As a demonstration of gratitude the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) saluted the most influential journalists and photographers during their annual media awards during Caribbean Week in Toronto.

CTO Chairman, Beverly Nicholson-Doty, was on hand to present awards and certificates of commendation, at the One King West Hotel in Toronto.

We extend our congratulations to all of our Canadian entrants and winners. The media are incredible partners of Caribbean tourism in Canada, and we look forward to building on the strengths of our relationship for years to come,” the Chairman said.

Melanie Reffes, an experienced journalist who writes for several major publications in Canada and the US – including Canadian Traveller and USA Today –  was truly honoured to receive the highest award.

“My heartfelt thank you to the CTO for the awards and for the continuing support for my work covering the Caribbean. Thank you also to my editors at Canadian Traveller who for so many years have given me the opportunity to write about the region for our many readers in Canada.

“I am honoured and humbled to receive the awards and pinch myself because the opportunity to cover a part of the world that is so dear to my heart and such a pleasure to write about is amazing and just plain cool. Researching and writing a story about food in the Caribbean was a highlight for me with so many delicious choices in so many countries.”

The following are the winners:

I Couldn’t Have Written It Better Myself (Best Feature Article in a Consumer Newspaper)

Winner: Larissa Liepins (Montreal Gazette) – Small Dominica is Caribbean’s best-kept secret

Highly commended: Mark Stevens (Globe and Mail) – Leave Jamaica’s big-box resorts behind


Virtual Visitor Award (Best Online Feature)

Winner: Liz Fleming ( – Basil Charles enjoys celebrity status on Mustique

Highly Commended: Susan Campbell (Cocktails & Joints) – Wild & Wonderful Dominica


Been There, Wrote That (Best Feature Article in a Consumer Magazine)

Winner: Alexandra Redgrave (Air Canada’s enRoute) – How I spent My Winter Vacations (St. Vincent & the Grenadines)

Highly Commended: Sarah Staples (Up Magazine) – How to save and splurge on this Caribbean island paradise (Anguilla)


Not Lost in Translation (Best Feature in Foreign Media)

Winner: Michael De Freitas (interval World) – Isle of Enchantment (Puerto Rico)

Highly Commended: Mark Stevens ( – Anguilla: An A-list port of call


Inner Circle Royal (Best Feature Article in a Trade Publication)

Winner: Melanie Reffes (Canadian Traveller) – Bon Appetit! Raise Your Glass & Your Fork throughout the Caribbean

Highly Commended: Ilona Kauremszky (Travel Industry Today) – Living the Life II – Royal Bahamas

Oh Snap! (Best Photograph in Conjunction with a Feature Article)

Winner: Michael DeFreitas (Interval World) – Isle of Enchantment

Highly Commended: Melanie Reffers – Haiti is ‘open for business’

Best of the Best

Melanie Reffes

The panel of judges was headed by Dr. Rita Cox, an award-winning storyteller, writer and Canadian-Caribbean icon; Roberta Garzaroli, the president of the public relations company, The Atrebor Group; and Mari-Jo JohnRose, a student.
Caribbean Vacation

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