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CHARLOTTETOWN, PEI — The Tourism Industry Association of PEI (TIAPEI) celebrated the industry’s best at its 34th Annual Tourism Conference and Awards Gala, held March 4 at the Red Shores Racetrack and Casino.
Featured on the conference program was keynote speaker Corrine Sandler, whose presentation focused on her book, Wake Up or Die. The semi-annual business meeting featured the election of the TIAPEI board. Also presenting were Booking.com, Insight Marketing and The Centre for Tourism Research. Another session, themed Managing Your Reputation with Customer Experience, also unfolded.
During the morning tradeshow, more than 16 exhibitors networked with attendees. There was also a silent auction fundraiser supporting the TIAPEI scholarship fund.
The evening gala, for which Kerri Wynne MacLeod served as emcee, saw the tourism industry recognize individuals who have displayed a high degree of professionalism and/or support. A total of 10 awards were handed out.
Honoured for their contributions to tourism for 2014 were:
Gary Craswell, Rodd Charlottetown — Lieutenant Governor’s Tourism Award; Karen Hatcher, The College of Piping — Hospitality Award for Prince County; Shawna Grandjean, Comfort Inn — Hospitality Award for Queens County; Charlene Belsher, The Old General Store — Hospitality Award for Kings County; Welcome PEI — Walt Wheeler Media Award; Rachel Vidito, Murphy Hospitality Group — Operator of the Year; Prince Edward Island Lighthouse Society — Parks Canada Sustainable Tourism Award; Linda & Gary Lowther — Dr. Kent Ellis Quality of Excellence Award; Mitchell Rennie — President’s Award; Canadian Potato Museum — Premier’s Award
Special recognition was given to three certified emerit professionals who completed their certification process during 2014.
TIAPEI President Kevin Mouflier awarded the President’s Award to Mitchell Rennie, while Minister for Tourism and Culture Robert Henderson presented the Premier’s Award to the Canadian Potato Museum.
The final presentation of the evening saw Lieutenant Governor Frank Lewis present the Lieutenant Governor’s Award to Gary Craswell, of Rodd Charlottetown.