BLUFF COVE LAGOON TOUR wins at the SEATRADE INSIDER AWARDS 2009
Presented at Seatrade Europe in Hamburg this month, Bluff Cove Lagoon Tour has won the Seatrade Insider Cruise Award for the best shore excursion: “Innovative Shorex of the Year 2009”. The award is one of six categories that reward excellence across the international cruise sector. Bluff Cove Lagoon Tour received the award in recognition of its notable contribution to the cruise industry over the past 12 months.
This is the first time an international tourism award has been received in the Falkland Islands.
After being short listed, Kevin and Hattie Kilmartin, owner/operators of Bluff Cove Lagoon Tour, delayed their flight back to the Falklands so they could attend the awards ceremony at the Tivoli Theatre on the Reeperbahn in Hamburg on the 15th September 2009.
They were ecstatic to win the award! Their tour beat the other short-listed companies - fierce competition, Intercruises with a Tunisian shore excursion and Tura Turizm, of Turkey, a previous award winner.
In true awards fashion, the winners were announced from an envelope on stage. The winner of the Innovative Shorex Award was introduced by the remark: “This award is going a long way... 12,000km!”
Kevin Kilmartin said afterwards “I am delighted that the excellent work by Hattie and the dedicated Bluff Cove Team has been recognised by the international cruise industry.”
“This is great for the Falklands,” added Hattie, “especially at this time when we need to work particularly hard to keep the interest of the cruise industry in our beautiful Islands. We would like to thank the wonderful Bluff Cove Team.”
The engraved glass trophy will be on display in the new Bluff Cove Museum at the Lagoon.
Tim Moore, Tours Manager at Fred Olsen Cruise Lines, and one of the 15 esteemed judges for the Seatrade Insider Award commented: “It is great that Kevin and Hattie won the Seatrade Insiders Award 2009 for their Bluff Cove Penguin Tour at the recent Seatrade Convention in Hamburg. It obviously caught the attention of the majority of judges because of its innovation and inventiveness. It is wonderful a 'Mom & Pop' operation in the remote Falkland Islands grabs centre stage at an international awards ceremony. It just emphasises the great community spirit that exists in the Falkland Islands and shows that enthusiasm and effort can and will win through. I am delighted for them, for their community and for the Falkland Islands.”
Debbie Summers, Business Development Manager ID Tours New Zealand Ltd, and author of A Visitor’s Guide to the Falkland Islands: “This award has to be some of the best advertising to be had for the Falklands in recent years. For Bluff Cove Lagoon Tour to win an award from such an internationally prestigious body as Seatrade, is truly a mind-blowing achievement. It is fantastic and must not be underestimated, considering the many thousands of shore excursions worldwide. Well done Kevin, Hattie, Toby and the whole Bluff Cove Team.”
General Manager of the Falkland Islands Tourist Board, Jake Downing said: “The Bluff Cove Lagoon Tour is a true success story.”
Congratulations have been pouring in from all over the world.