It’s red carpet time for those who go out of their way to make tourists feel special in Bermuda.

The VIP Excellence Awards will be handed out out a gala dinner on April 13.

Nominations for the awards include a huge variety of tourism occupations within the 18 main categories. Category 9 for example, Heart of the House Award includes best kitchen, purchasing, security, facilities maintenance, engineer, laundry and valet employee.

This year’s nominations totalled in the hundreds and the judges had a challenging time choosing between so many industry super-stars.

Categories recognize people from all sectors of hospitality from the cheerful bellman at the front door, the dedicated housekeeper working away behind the scenes, the talented chef and his creative dishes, the zealous taxi driver, the devoted waiter, the hard working groundskeeper and the terrific travel agent.

The finalists will be revealed on Thursday, March 7.

All the finalists contribute to the success of Bermuda as a destination and the top 54 will be recognized at the annual Gala Dinner on April 13 at the Fairmont Southampton.

Winners in each of the 18 categories win fabulous travel prizes donated by leaders in the visitor industry. They also carry home a prestigious gold VIP pin and a well-deserved certificate of merit.

The top winner, the Minister of Tourism’s “Best of the Best” wins $10,000 in a money market fund donated by BELCO.

Banquet reservations may be made on www.VIP.bm or by calling Tina at 734-8125. For further information contact VIP Chair, Dr Barbara O’Shaughnessy at bos@college.bm or 239-4045.