(The GIMIES)- As the curtains drop on yet another successful GIMIES, the tourism industry and country alike, are abuzz with excitement as industry stalwart Carmelita Xavier is honoured as the GIMIES Lifetime Achievement Awardee 2023 or Prime Minister’s Award. The CEO of Solar Tours and Travel tearfully accepted her GIMIE on the backdrop of an emotional video filled with testimonials from her friends, family and colleagues from around the globe.

Carmelita Xavier celebrating with her daughters Seajeal & Kim Xavier, niece Hayle Harvey.

Ms Xavier started her career as a flight attendant in the 1970s and worked at LIAT for 15 years thereafter, before founding Solar Tour and Travel, a decorated destination management company. Throughout her extensive career in the travel and tourism industry, she has successfully expanded her business portfolio by founding My Kind of Travel and serving as the agent for UPS and Aeropost on the island.

Carmelita has forged partnerships with many regional and international firms and is a firm believer in supporting youth development initiatives including rehabilitation of schools. She is also an advocate for change and development within the sector and has held many roles in support of her industry colleagues. Humbled by her award, Ms Xavier expressed her gratitude for the honour and added,

’I am truly blessed to witness pure love and adoration from my friends, family and colleagues within the industry, who saw it fitting to put me on a pedestal as a representation of the best of the industry. I humbly accept this award on behalf of all the workers who tirelessly put Saint Lucia first in everything they do and make this destination memorable. Thank you for honouring me, I honour you!”

The second edition of the GIMIES the Saint Lucia Tourism Awards was live streamed on NTN. Presented by the Ministry of Tourism in collaboration with the Saint Lucia Tourism Authority, Saint Lucia Hospitality and Tourism Association and Tourism Enhancement Fund, the event highlighted the achievements of individuals and organisations within the tourism industry.

As part of the 30 awards or GIMIES presented at the event, the Lifetime Achievement Award closed off the prestigious event.

According to the Minister of Tourism Hon. Dr. Ernest Hilaire,

“[The GIMIES] honour the contribution within our vibrant industry. It is about you the partners who make Saint Lucia successful. The unsung heroes who work every day to ensure the livelihoods we all enjoy. As we know tourism is not merely a sector of our economy, it is the heartbeat of our nation’s growth and prosperity. We say thank you to all our stalwarts who make Saint Lucia a unique destination.”

Prime Minister Philip J. Pierre presents the Lifetime Achievement Award to Carmelita Xavier.

The second edition of the GIMIES has attracted support from corporate partners:

Gold Star Partner Taiwan along with Ultra-Premium Partners Flow St. Lucia, Courts Ready Finance, Courts Business Solutions, Heineken Saint Lucia, Piton Beer, and Caribbean Metals.

Premium Partners include Bank of Saint Lucia, Saint Lucia Electricity Services, Republic Bank Ltd, Digicel St Lucia, Heineken Saint Lucia, 1st National Bank and Barbay Ltd.

Supporting Partners are UWI Open Campus, Alliance Francais. Harry Edwards Jewelers, Bel Jou Hotel, Fond Doux Resort, Calabash Cove St Lucia, Ti Kaye Resort, Landings  Resort and Spa, Anse Chastanet Resort, Jade Mountain, Baron Foods, Sugar Beach – A Viceroy Resort and Sea Spray.

For more information on the GIMIES, visit or Facebook/Instagram @the GIMIES.




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