Bermuda’s Official Travel Resource

Local Tourism Ambassador Wins International Award

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Bermudian entrepreneur Dennie O’Connor has brought home the 2019 International Certified Tourism Ambassador ™ (CTA) Star Award, setting himself apart from other Tourism Ambassadors from around the US.

The self-labelled “proud Bermudian” was put forward to the Tourism Ambassador Institute® (TAI), the accrediting body of the local CTA programme, after receiving three local CTA Star Awards, including Ambassador of the Year, in May of this year.

Mickey Schaefer, President of the TAI commended Mr. O’Connor, affirming that the accolade is proof that he is the "Best of the Best", exemplifying the purpose and mission of the CTA Programme by sharing knowledge, exceeding customer expectations and sharing his passion for the local tourism industry. Mr. O’Connor is “a shining example for the 17,000 other CTAs internationally “says Schaefer and as the winner, Dennie has been awarded a trip for two anywhere in the continental U.S.

“For more than 25 years, Dennie O’Connor has exemplified what Bermuda hospitality is all about. His passion and knowledge of Bermuda is what helps to set our island apart from other destinations,” said Karla Lacey, Chief Operating Officer, Bermuda Tourism Authority. “Most recently, his commitment to quality service delivery has helped set new standards, and provided a measurable positive economic impact, for the island’s beach economy. He is a true asset to Bermuda’s Tourism Industry.”

John Marks, Past President & CEO, San Francisco CVB, TAI International CTA of the Year Selection Committee, said, “We were most impressed with Mr. O’Connor’s long-standing commitment to Bermuda’s hospitality industry, and all that he does for others. He has been responsible for getting more than 40 of his employees CTA Certified, and in many cases paying for the program out of his own pocket. He, and his staff, believe in Bermuda, and go that extra distance to make the visitor experience both meaningful and enjoyable. Countless people comment that Mr. O’Connor always goes above and beyond, ensuring that guests have a smile on their face, just as he does.”

“With tourism as a main staple of our economy, I feel as though this award is not just for me, but for Bermuda as a whole.”

The owner of Cosmopolitan Club Lounge and co-owner of Tobacco Bay and Bermuda Triangle Experience, added, “Being able to go up against others outside of Bermuda and come out on top has been incredible because it has allowed us to showcase Bermuda's first-class hospitality and beauty on the world stage. I see no end in sight for me as I look to grow the tourism hospitality sector with world class attractions, people and services.”

“Entrepreneur and tourism ambassador Dennie O’Connor was amongst the first to be certified as a CTA, recognising instantly the innate value in the programme. He has taken home three Certified Tourism Ambassador™ (CTA) Star Awards and now he receives the highest of them all, the International CTA of the Year Award for his stellar work in the front-line of tourism”, said Rasheeda Burgess, Tourism Standards and Training Manager, Bermuda Tourism Authority.

“This international accolade proves what we already knew: Dennie O’Connor is world-class. He embodies the spirit of hospitality that visitors rave about after a trip out here,” said Bermuda Tourism Authority CEO Kevin Dallas. “This award is also a reminder that quality service is essential to a good visitor experience and a critical part of Bermuda tourism’s comeback story. We salute Dennie and all the people on the front lines everyday making the island a distinctly hospitable place.”

Introduced to Bermuda by the BTA in 2015, the CTA programme equips tourism workers with the tools needed to enhance the visitor experience, increase community economic impact and build a positive destination image. Renewed annually, this internationally recognised designation demonstrates badge holders’ knowledge about Bermuda’s attributes, features and attractions, and ability to respond to visitor inquiries courteously and professionally.

For more information visit https://www.gotobermuda.com/bta/tourism-ambassadors