NEW YORK (Oct. 13, 2011)-In Montego Bay, Jamaica, next week, Caribbean countries will battle for top travel and tourism honors at the 2011 Caribbean and the Americas World Travel Awards.

Organizers have confirmed that host country Jamaica, neighboring Bahamas and the Eastern Caribbean island nation of Saint Lucia are among those vying for the coveted title of “Caribbean’s Leading Destination” at the Oct. 19 event.

The highly anticipated program will honor destinations, hotels and organizations that have made significant contributions to travel and tourism over the past year.

To be held at the Sandals Royal Caribbean resort and private island, leading decision makers and thought leaders from across the Americas and the Caribbean will gather to find out which property-Half Moon (Jamaica), Jumby Bay (Antigua), Parrot Cay (Turks and Caicos), Sandy Lane (Barbados) or Sandals Emerald Bay (Great Exuma, Bahamas)-will take the anticipated “Caribbean’s Leading Hotel” category.

Negril (Jamaica), the Gold Coast (Barbados), Half Moon Bay (Antigua), Grace Bay Beach (Turks and Caicos) and Dawn Beach (St. Maarten) are all in the running for “Caribbean’s Leading Beach Destination,” while Delta Airlines, Caribbean Airlines, Air Jamaica and Air Canada will compete in the “Caribbean’s Leading Airline” category.

“The Caribbean travel and tourism economy has demonstrated remarkable resilience given the challenges faced by its key source markets in Europe and North America,” said Graham Cooke, president and founder of the awards. He stressed that the respective nominees represent organizations that have made the greatest contributions to the region’s travel and tourism performance.

“As a tourism region, the Caribbean has a lot to offer. Many of the world’s premium brands are available within the region and these are complemented by brands that were developed in the Caribbean and have earned world-renowned status,” said former Sandals Resorts executive John Lynch, chairman of the Jamaica Tourist Board.

The Caribbean and The Americas ceremony marks the fifth and final leg of the World Travel Awards 2011 Grand Tour, following earlier events in Dubai, Turkey, Egypt and Thailand. Regional winners from these events will progress to the 18th annual Grand Finale in Qatar in November.