Saunders, Markantonis attain top tourism honors


George Markantonis

Nassau, Bahamas — A stalwart tourism leader and a charismatic hotel president lead the way in the Cacique Awards recognitions as two winners of the 14th Cacique Awards and finalists in all other categories were announced this week.

William Saunders, founder of Majestic Tours, was named the recipient of the Clement Maynard Lifetime Achievement Award while Kerzner President and Managind Director George Markantonis was named Hotelier of the Year for the 14th Cacique Awards.  The awards will be held January 28 at the Rainforest Theatre, when all other winners will be revealed.

Mr. Saunders started Majestic Tours in 1959.  Today, Majestic is the largest ground tour operator in The Bahamas and one of the largest in the Caribbean.  It has grown to include a travel agency, a European division and local cruises.  It represents tour operators based in the United States, Canada, and Europe.

William Saunders

After being named winner of the prestigious award, Mr. Saunders expressed genuine surprise and appreciation.  He said that he was happy that his company has been able to withstand tough economic times and continue to benefit the families of their employees.

“In these down times, everybody expected that there would be a tremendous fall off in tourism and that a lot of people would suffer,” Mr. Saunders said.  “I am pleased and happy to say that in spite of the downturn, Majestic has kept everybody employed. We have put no one on a short work week and we have reduced no salaries. That is a blessing to everybody and I am very appreciative and thankful.”