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Steve Heapy recognized by the Tourinews Awards 2022 for his crisis management during the pandemic

The awards gala will be held on November 17 at the Expomeloneras Conference Center (Gran Canaria, Spain). Among the winners are also Axel Hotels, Pedro Luis Cobiella (Hospiten), PROMTUR Panama and Enkewa Camp (Kenya).

LAS PALMAS DE GRAN CANARIA – Steve Heapy, Chief Executive Officer of and Jet2Holidays, will receive the Tourinews 2022 Award for Business Excellence on November 17. With this award they want to recognize that his support to hoteliers during the pandemic crisis serves as an example and inspiration for the tourism industry.

The jury of these awards, granted annually by the Spanish tourism newspaper, has highly valued his role in the "meteoric rise" of the tourism group – of which he has been part since 2009 – and, above all, his excellent business management during the Covid crisis, with a "continuous support during the pandemic that has been very positive for the hotel sector".

The "Tourinews 2022 Awards" The Inspiration of the Future! will be presented during the X International Tourism Forum Maspalomas Costa Canaria, at the Congress Palace of Expomeloneras (Gran Canaria). Heapy will personally attend to collect the commemorative plaque and will participate in a round table with the other award winners. Access to the event is free, with prior registration on the forum's website, and it can also be followed via streaming.

Other Award Winners
Among more than 130 nominations – proposed by the newspaper’s readers themselves – the jury determined the winners for the other four categories.

  • Heterofriendly hotelier Axel Hotels, born in Barcelona and present in Spain, Germany, the United States and Cuba, has won the Revelation Award. The company headed by Juan Juliá experienced a milestone in 2022 when it turned the oldest hotel in Cuba into the first LGTBIQ+ hotel in Havana.
  • Dr. Pedro Luis Cobiella Suárez, honorary president of the Hospiten Group, received the Honorary Lifetime Achievement Award. He was recognized for his contribution to the value of destinations, offering "service and health safety to the tourism industry". In fact, the company has 20 medical-hospital centers located in important vacation areas in Spain, the Dominican Republic, Mexico, Jamaica and Panama.
  • PROMTUR Panama, Panama's official international tourism promotion agency, has won the Destination Award thanks to a spectacular video developed in collaboration with the COPA airline. The video combines indications and safety measures with the promotion of the Central American country's tourist attractions.
  • Likewise, the tourist camp Enkewa Camp (Kenya) has won the Social Development Initiative Award. This ecolodge, founded 15 years ago by the Mallorcan José Serrano, has provided the Maasai community with a sustainable livelihood that respects the natural and social environment.

Posthumous honorary distinctions
The jury has also considered appropriate to award honorary distinctions to three candidates who were nominated and who, sadly, passed away during the last year:

  • Wolfgang S. Pollinger: A professional of recognized trajectory in Tenerife. Known for his extensive career of 40 years dedicated to tourism, most of them in TUI Germany, and Loro Parque Group. He dedicated his last stage to the Hotel Las Madrigueras Golf Resort & Spa, in Playa de las Americas (Arona, Tenerife).
  • Lorenzo Ortego Valenzuela: He dedicated 30 years of his career to the hotel industry, as general manager of establishments of RIU Hotels & Resorts, Seaside Hotels and Dunas Hotels & Resorts. Since 2009, he was in charge of Vital Suites Hotel & Spa in Playa del Inglés (San Bartolomé de Tirajana, Gran Canaria).
  • Enrique Martinón Armas: The Lanzarote-born "was one of the leaders of the internationalization of Spanish hotel companies to the Caribbean, being a pioneer of tourism in Cuba. He also promoted tourism developments in the Canary Islands and was the promoter of THe Hotels.
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She holds a Bachelor's degree in Communication & Mass Media from Panteion University of Political & Social Studies of Athens and she has been editor and editor-in-chief in various economic magazines and newspapers.