Rhode Island Receives "International Star Diamond Award" in Tourism
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January 8,2009(Providence)- Governor Donald L. Carcieri will join State Tourism Director Mark Brodeur, along with more than 200 state tourism and hospitality professionals, to accept the “International Star Diamond Award” presented by The American Academy of Hospitality Sciences (AAHS). The Award represents the highest and most prestigious form of achievement in the industry, recognized and sought after by tourism and hospitality professionals worldwide. The honor is typically awarded to five-star resorts and hotels, spas, restaurants, airlines and cruise lines. Rhode Island will be only the tenth destination and the first U.S. state to receive the Award. Previous destination winners include Baden-Baden, Germany; Japan; New York City; Lucerne, Switzerland; and Turks & Caicos among others.
“I have always maintained that Rhode Island is the star of New England, and now I am pleased to see that our state’s wonders and its hospitality have earned worldwide recognition as well,” Governor Donald L. Carcieri said. “This award is a wonderful tribute to the Rhode Island Tourism Division and the hundreds of businesses that are involved in the tourism business in our state. Congratulations to everyone involved.”
Last month, a study commissioned by the Rhode Island Tourism Division, an arm of the Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation, reported the tourism industry generated $4.24 billion toward the state’s economy in 2007, an increase of 10 percent from 2006. The study found that each Rhode Island household would have to pay $1,280 more in taxes to maintain the current level of state and local tax receipts if tourism did not exist.
“This is a huge accomplishment, this is our industry’s Academy Awards,” said Brodeur of the Tourism Division. “We are essentially receiving an ‘Oscar’ and certification that Rhode Island is a world-class destination offering some of the best natural beauty, culinary offerings, history and cultural attractions. This is also a testament to the caliber of our state’s tourism and hospitality professionals. I will accept this Award knowing that their hard-work contributed to this honor.”
“It comes with great pleasure to announce and congratulate Rhode Island on becoming the first U.S. State to receive our recognition – the AAHS Five Star Diamond seal of approval,” said AAHS President Joseph D. Cinque. “This is certainly an outstanding achievement and award-winning accomplishment. It will place Rhode Island in excellent company along with other AAHS fine tourist destination recipients worldwide. I look forward to having the distinct honor of presenting the award to Governor Carcieri and Mr. Brodeur on behalf of their fine state, and welcoming them into the AAHS organization as one of our newest members. Congratulations once again on this impressive triumph.”
The event, which will be hosted in the State House Rotunda on January 15, will feature brief remarks from Governor Carcieri, Brodeur and Cinque followed by the Award presentation by AAHS. Following the formal program, the event will display the culinary masterpieces of Rhode Island’s top chefs and restaurants and an assortment of wines from the state’s wineries.
Headquartered in New York City, AAHS is renowned worldwide for awarding excellence in the global travel and luxury services sector. Members of The Academy’s international board of trustees, consisting of respected leaders in the industry and frequent global travelers, along with other valuable sources worldwide, routinely submit nominations of Five Star establishments, service providers and destinations to TAAHS for review. The Board then refines the selection to those who qualify for the ultimate evaluation. Board members include Dr. Srgjan Kerim, president, United Nations; George Schwab, president of sales & marketing, Elite International; Donald Trump, chairman & president, The Trump Organization; and representatives of the International Polo Club, Mar-a-Lago Club, The Ritz Carlton Hotel Company, Mandarin Oriental and Sandals and Beaches Resorts to name a few.