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Jamaica Tourist Board Establishes ‘Edith Baxter Memorial Award’ In Honour Of Canadian Tourism Icon

Above: Edith Baxter receives an Order of Distinction from the Government of Jamaica in 2009. Photo courtesy of Jamaica Information Service


JTB launches new biennial award program celebrating Canadians who elevate Destination Jamaica within their communities.

April 21, 2021 | Jessica Napier |

Above: Edith Baxter receives an Order of Distinction from the Government of Jamaica in 2009. Photo courtesy of Jamaica Information Service

The Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB) is pleased to announce the launch of a new commemorative award program established in memory of Edith Baxter, a long-time Canadian publishing icon who passed away in late 2020.

Founded in partnership with the Baxter family, the Edith Baxter Memorial Award will recognize an outstanding community leader who uses their influence to elevate Destination Jamaica and contributes toward the positive advancement of Jamaica’s tourism industry and/or Jamaican culture within Canada. The grand prize winner of the 2021 Edith Baxter Memorial Award will receive a five-night luxury vacation for two to Jamaica courtesy of award partners Sandals Resorts and Air Canada Vacations.

As co-founder and editor-in-chief of Baxter Media, Edith Baxter was a powerful voice within the Canadian publishing industry for more than five decades and a passionate advocate for Jamaica. She served at the helm of Canadian Travel Press and Travel Courier for more than 50 years and was awarded the Order of Distinction by the Government of Jamaica in 2009 in recognition of the important work she had done on behalf of Jamaica’s tourist industry.

“While she may have travelled to many places around the world throughout her impressive career, Edith Baxter held a special place in her heart for the island of Jamaica,” said Hon. Edmund Bartlett, Minister of Tourism, Jamaica. “We hope to honour her legacy in the years to come by continuing to celebrate remarkable Canadians who use their voices to shine a spotlight on the destination.”

“Edith Baxter was a true pioneer in the travel industry; she played an integral role in championing Jamaica’s tourism product within the Canadian market and had a truly special connection with the island,” said John Lynch, Chairman, Jamaica Tourist Board. “The Jamaica Tourist Board has established this memorial award in her name in order to recognize exceptional individuals who advocate for Jamaica in their own communities.”

The Edith Baxter Memorial Award will be presented on a biennial basis in 2021, 2023 and 2025. In the spirit of the award’s namesake, applicants must demonstrate a true passion for enhancing Jamaica’s tourism product and a commitment to advocating for the culture within Canada.

“It is a great honour to have this award created in the name of our mother and company matriarch. We thank the people of Jamaica for always making her feel like a true citizen of a country that she called her second home,” said Wendy McClung, Executive Vice President, Baxter Media. “Her positive voice when speaking of Jamaica was evident in her many conversations, written stories and reporting. She would be proud to see others recognized, in her name, for their contributions.”

The official entry period for the inaugural award launches on April 21, 2021. Individuals working in the fields of tourism and hospitality, music, arts and culture, community activism, education, healthcare, athletics and public service are invited to nominate themselves or friends and colleagues for the competition. Nominations will be open until the entry deadline on June 25, 2021.

Entries for the Edith Baxter Memorial Award will be reviewed and evaluated by a panel of experienced industry judges representing the Jamaica Tourist Board, the Baxter family and the Jamaican Diaspora community. The 2021 judging panel includes Angella Bennett, Regional Director, Canada, Jamaica Tourist Board; Wendy McClung, Executive Vice President, Baxter Media; and Sandra Whiting, Speaker, Storyteller and Event Host.

Five preliminary finalists will be announced in August and each individual will receive a prize certificate in recognition of their nomination. In September, the Jamaica Tourist Board will host an official presentation ceremony to honour each of the finalists and reveal the final grand-prize winner. Additional details about the 2021 Edith Baxter Memorial Award ceremony, including the presentation format and event date, will be released in the coming months.

For more information about the Edith Baxter Memorial Award, including complete nomination guidelines and eligibility requirements, visit www.edithbaxteraward.com.

For more information about Destination Jamaica, go to visitjamaica.com.

Above: Edith Baxter Memorial Award judges Angella Bennett (left), Wendy McClung (middle), and Sandra Whiting (right)

About Jamaica Tourist Board 

The Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB), founded in 1955, is Jamaica’s national tourism agency based in the capital city of Kingston. JTB offices are also located in Montego Bay, Miami, Toronto and London. Representative offices are located in Berlin, Barcelona, Rome, Amsterdam, Mumbai, Tokyo and Paris.

This year, the JTB was declared the Caribbean’s Leading Tourist Board by the World Travel Awards (WTA) for the thirteenth consecutive year and Jamaica was named the Caribbean’s Leading Destination for the fifteenth consecutive year as well as the Caribbean’s Best Spa Destination and the Caribbean’s Best MICE Destination. As well, Jamaica copped the WTA’s World’s Leading Wedding Destination, the World’s Leading Cruise Destination and the World’s Leading Family Destination. Additionally, Jamaica was awarded three gold 2020 Travvy Awards for Best Culinary Destination, Caribbean/ Bahamas; Best Tourism Board Overall and Best Tourism Board, Caribbean/ Bahamas. The Pacific Area Travel Writers Association (PATWA) named Jamaica the 2020 Destination of the Year for Sustainable Tourism. In 2019, TripAdvisor® ranked Jamaica as the #1 Caribbean Destination and #14 Best Destination in the World. Jamaica is home to some of the world’s best accommodations, attractions and service providers that continue to receive prominent global recognition.

For details on upcoming special events, attractions and accommodations in Jamaica go to the JTB’s Website at www.visitjamaica.com or call the Jamaica Tourist Board at 1-800-JAMAICA (1-800-526-2422). Follow the JTB on FacebookTwitterInstagramPinterest and YouTube. View the JTB blog at www.islandbuzzjamaica.com.

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