Jamaica’s Club Kingston at Norman Manley International Airport has won the Global Lounge of the Year 2014 at this year’s prestigious Priority Pass Lounge of the Year Awards. Now in their tenth year, the awards recognize excellence within the Priority Pass network of over 700 airport lounges worldwide.
Jamaica’s tourism minister, Dr Whykeham McNeill, has recently reported a spike in tourism in the country, with a two per cent increase in stopover arrivals for the 2013 winter tourist season and further projected growth for the summer season 2014. Tourism forms an essential part of Jamaica’s local economy, with frequent visitors from Europe, the US and Canada1. The country has also enjoyed a 600 per cent increase in visitors from Russia due to the new flight route from Moscow to Montego Bay2.
David Hall, executive chairman, Club Kingston commented: “Hospitality is a treasured Jamaican heritage. We believe that during our three years of existence, we have made significant and innovative contributions to the travel experience for guests entering and leaving Jamaica. Not only have we transformed a tedious and unpleasant airport experience into an enjoyed moment for our guests, but we enable them to experience the history and rich culture that is the pride of Jamaica.”
Club Kingston tailors every aspect of the lounge experience; the head chef provides a locally inspired range of food and beverages such as Jamaican inspired sushi, traditional patties and specialist Jamaican cocktails, such as the Mobay Passion, all served alongside a soundtrack of reggae music. The lounge also enlists iconic Jamaican brands and local artists such as Soloman Sharpe and Metry Seaga who design pieces inspired by the Jamaican landscape, “land of wood and water”. To cater for the frequent business traveler, the lounge offers a state of the art Business Centre, powered by Jamaican telecoms company Digicel.
Stephen Simpson, Global Marketing Director for Priority Pass, said: “As airports become busier, we believe the lounge is a key moment of truth for a new global class of discerning consumers. This group is looking for smart ways to upgrade their lifestyles, for example using lounge access as a means to travel in style and comfort, without going to the expense of business class flights. Brands wishing to reach this increasingly savvy group should ensure lounge access sits front and centre of any customer incentive program.”
“We congratulate Club Kingston on its achievement. Over the past 10 years, Priority Pass’s Lounge of the Year Awards have given the most comprehensive overview of the quality of the world’s airport lounges based on members’ own opinions. In order to win, lounges must demonstrate the strongest commitment to excellence, day in, day out.”
“We also commend the category and regional winners for the outstanding lounge experience they provide.”
The Club at SJC in San Jose International Airport, USA was this year awarded Best Staff due to its “heart for service” mentality which drives its customer service. The lounge actively searches for team members who possess a genuine passion for serving others and enforces this message during the intensive staff training. In the hustle and bustle of today’s airport travel environment, The Club aims to make every guest feel as though they’re in an oasis of peace and quiet, with service that’s warm and friendly.
Dilmun Lounge at Bahrain International Airport this year scooped the award for best business facilities. This is the seventh time that the Dilmun Lounge has won an award, having previously won the Best Lounge in the Middle East and Africa region four times, and the award for best refreshments once. Dilmun Lounge was voted favorite by business travelers due to its luxury facilities, including two business and IT centres, fast Wi Fi connectivity and multimedia availability.
Dubai International Business Class Lounge at Dubai International Airport was chosen by guests for its provision of the best refreshments. The lounge caters to the wide cross section of guests that pass through and the refreshments are made to suit all times of the day and all types of travellers. This is the seventh time that Dubai International Business Class Lounge has won an award, including being the regional winner twice in 2006 and 2007.
Priority Pass received over 84,000 votes from members in this year’s poll, an increase of 44 percent compared with last year. Members vote on a set of criteria covering overall lounge quality, including refreshments, staff, business facilities and overall ambience.
There were a total of nine winners in the Priority Pass 2014 Lounge of the Year Awards, including five regional winners:
There were also eight Highly Commended lounges in the Priority Pass 2014 Lounge of the Year Awards, which were as follows:
NOTES TO EDITORS:
Priority Pass (www.prioritypass.com) provides frequent travelers with airport lounge access, irrespective of their class of travel, airline flown or existing membership in an airline loyalty program. Launched in 1992, Priority Pass now offers more than 700 airport lounges worldwide in 400 cities in over 120 countries.
Priority Pass is part of the Collinson Group, a global leader in shaping and influencing customer behaviour to drive revenue and value for its clients. It offers a unique blend of industry and sector specialists who together provide market-leading experience in delivering products and services across four core capabilities: Loyalty, Lifestyle Benefits, Insurance, and Assistance. The Collinson Group has in excess of 25 years’ experience, with 28 global locations, servicing over 800 clients in 150 countries, employing over 1,400 staff, managing over 20 million end customers.Appendix
Catherine Ditcham / Sian Edwards, Brands2Life
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