Photos: Minister & Inspectors Tour Willowbank

September 27, 2018

The Minister of Economic Development and Tourism Jamahl Simmons today [Sept 27] observed World Tourism Day and used the opportunity to meet visit the newly renovated Willowbank Hotel and Conference Centre along with the Ministry’s Hotel Inspectors Team.

Minister Simmons was accompanied by Willowbank General Manager Tricia Shastri, Reservation Manager Gina Spence and Executive Housekeeper Roseanne Russell.

Minister Simmons, Gina Spence and Tricia Shastri

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Observed annually on September 27th, World Tourism Day was started by World Tourism Organization in 1980 to foster awareness among the international community of the importance of tourism and its social, cultural, political and economic values.

Hotel Inspectors Carlos Durham and Aaran Swan

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Minister Simmons said, “I am honored to mark World Tourism Day on the property of the recently reopened Willowbank Hotel alongside our outstanding Hotel Inspectors. World Tourism Day provides an opportunity to celebrate the men and women that have, for generations created the ‘Bermuda-ful Experience,’ creating an environment where visitors feel welcome, safe and inspired to return again and again.

“We celebrate our hotel workers, our taxi drivers, vacation rental owners, bus and ferry operators as they work alongside all of Bermuda in ensuring that our island home continues to be the most wonderful place to visit in the world. We thank you for your dedication, your sacrifice and your continuing efforts to give everyone who visits the most ‘Bermuda-ful’ experience.”

Aaran Swan, Rhonda Woods Smith, Minister Simmons, Chanel Burchall and Carlos Durham

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Minister Simmons added, “I stand alongside our Hotel Inspectors, a group that have gone unheralded and uncelebrated as they work diligently to ensure our hotels are of the highest standard. I salute them and thank them for their service.

“As we stand here at Willowbank, we cannot help to feel excited about the future of tourism in Bermuda. The return to operation of the historic Willowbank Hotel is noteworthy as it marks not only the return of additional beds to our hotel stock and not only jobs and opportunities for Bermudians; it also speaks to the growing sense of optimism surrounding Bermuda and Bermudian opportunity in tourism.”

Aaran Swan and Minister Simmons in the gym

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The Tourism Regulation and Policy Unit consist of Senior Manager, Rhonda Woods-Smith, Compliance Officers/Hotel Inspectors, Carlos O. Durham, and Aaran Swan and Administrative Assistants, Chanel Burchall and Tina Ming [seconded].

Shastri, Minister Simmons and Gina Spence in the chapel

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In accordance with the Hotels [Licensing and Control] Act and Regulations 1969, the Compliance Officers/Hotel Inspectors inspect all aspects of licensed accommodations including hotels and vacation rental properties.

This includes inspection of bedrooms, bathrooms, guest rooms, guest kitchens, restaurants, common areas, public recreational areas and exterior areas such as pools and gyms. And in the case of Willowbank, the Compliance Officers/Hotel Inspectors carry out additional inspections whenever a hotel or vacation rental has been expanded, renovated or upgraded.

Tricia Shastri, Minister Simmons, Gina Spence and Carlos Durham

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Tricia Shastri, Willowbank General Manager said, “I wish to thank Minister Jamahl Simmons for choosing ‘Willowbank Resort’, as the destination hotel to mark the start of ‘World Tourism Day’, by having a tour along with the Ministry’s Hotel Inspection Team.

“It was a privilege to show off this beautiful oceanfront property and have the opportunity to discuss its success since the rebranding of the resort last April.

“We continue to be an all Bermudian staff who love Willowbank and have welcomed many guests from all walks of life, especially from families, celebratory events and sporting groups. Due to the success of this season and the securement of new bookings, Willowbank Resort’s future is indeed looking very bright.”

The Minister and Ms Spence in the Conference/Ballroom

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Minister Simmons was accompanied by Willowbank General Manager, Tricia Shastri; Reservation Manager Gina Spence and Executive Housekeeper, Roseanne Russell.

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Comments (11)

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  1. Question says:

    We should get rid of the old guard UBP people like Jamahl. He’s a UBP infiltrator.

    • Pickled Tink says:

      Jamal, stop with the self promoting tours showing off projects that you were never involved with!

      You had a grand plan for gaming. You pushed out the gaming commissioner have there has been nothing worthy to report on since! You seem so opposed to AC35, the Tourism Board, The Gaming Commission and all things OBA but you have announced NOTHING new, NOTHING better, and NOTHING exciting in over a year.

      What exactly are we paying you for again? What have you done? Someone from the PLP or one of their fans please educate us.

    • Snapper says:

      This article is about the new Willow Bank tourism effort. Willow bank is already advertised on the Internet as a part of Splash Bermuda BTA campaign. Please try to be helpful poster.

    • cpm says:

      How many flip flops do the plp have?

    • eyes wide open says:

      the fact is we need to get rid of people like you because you,like many others are no longer in contact with Bermuda!
      Bermuda is not Black and White and Portuguese as many are fond of saying,Bermuda is and has been for many years Multi Cultural and your day has been and gone!

      • Jt says:

        Multiculrutral indeed. Unfortunately our government doesn’t reflect this – in composition, words or practice.

    • puzzled says:

      Just another local looking for perks and money.

  2. Hair says:

    Question, Please put a positive in this equation, Willowbank looks amazing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Question says:

      Willowbank looks amazing, and the PLP should get rid of the UBP infiltrators like Jamahl. He’s part of the old guard UBP.

  3. Rocky5 says:

    Thank you OBA for The Americas Cup which enabled Willowbank to re-open