TORONTO — More tributes are coming in for Gordon ‘Butch’ Stewart, founder of Sandals Resorts and brilliant entrepreneur, who passed away Jan. 4.
Stewart was a friend to travel agents, championing their work and encouraging legions of loyal travel agent partners over the course of Sandals’ 40-year history.
He is also being remembered by tourism boards, government officials and more.
Here are just a few of the many more tributes that have come in since his passing was announced yesterday.
CARIBBEAN TOURISM ORGANIZATION (CTO)
“It is with great sadness that the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) has learned of the death of Jamaican and Caribbean hospitality icon, Gordon “Butch” Stewart. The CTO member countries, allied members and staff join the government and people of Jamaica, the Stewart family, the Sandals family, and the regional and international tourism and hospitality sector in mourning his passing.
“Mr. Stewart has been a faithful and passionate servant of Caribbean tourism for four decades and his dedication was fully demonstrated through his many outstanding achievements. His was a virtual lifetime of high performance, devotion to country and the Caribbean and commitment to excellence in the hospitality sector.
“To quote his son, Adam, Mr. Stewart was a “gifted entrepreneur,” a “marketing genius,” and “a dreamer who could dream bigger and better than anyone.” There is no greater testament to this than his success as the founder and leader of the world-renowned Sandals and Beaches resort brands, along with the innovations he brought to these brands.
Mr. Stewart was a mentor to many, and his contributions have touched almost every sector of Jamaican and Caribbean society. His passing is a great loss to the entire region. He was a true travel and tourism and business icon and his legacy will shape future generations.”
CARIBBEAN HOTEL AND TOURISM ASSOCIATION (CHTA)
“As we mourn the loss of Caribbean tourism icon the Honorable Gordon “Butch” Stewart, OJ, CD, Hon. LLD, we extend our heartfelt condolences to the Stewart family and the thousands of extended family members in the Sandals organization. Our industry will forever be indebted to “Butch” for his continued passion for excellence and legendary Caribbean hospitality. His vision has bestowed to the global industry a Caribbean organization that adheres to the highest standards of excellence, celebrates and promotes the region’s uniqueness, and invests in the development of our people and communities.
“Mr. Stewart, one of the first recipients of the Caribbean Hotelier of the Year distinction, was a great supporter of the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association and an inspiration to so many of us in the region. Let us preserve and build upon his legacy by continuing to support the development of our industry.”
Acting CEO and Director General
THE BAHAMAS MINISTRY OF TOURISM & AVIATION
“We are deeply saddened by the loss of Butch Stewart, a key partner in our tourism enterprise who has left an indelible mark on the Bahamas’s hospitality sector. Butch’s vision for hospitality will live on to be enjoyed by future guests at Nassau’s Sandals Royal Bahamian as well as Sandals Emerald Bay and Fowl Cay Resort in Exuma.”
Minister of Tourism & Aviation
JAMAICA TOURIST BOARD (JTB)
“I have had the privilege of working with Mr. Stewart over many years, and his passion and vision for tourism in Jamaica and across the wider Caribbean region is unparalleled. He will be remembered for his groundbreaking work in growing the all-inclusive concept here and in the Caribbean and we’re confident his rich legacy will be preserved.”
Jamaica Tourist Board
“The industry has lost a tourism giant, and though I never had the privilege of working with Mr. Stewart, I feel like I know him personally, because the evidence of his hard work, passion, love for Jamaica, dedication and commitment to excellence is unmistakably evident around us. Jamaica and the Caribbean have benefitted significantly from his insights and investment in travel and tourism and there are many who’ve attested to the impact of his tutelage. Jamaica’s tourism is richer for his exceptional leadership and unstoppable vision and we will continue to build on that rich legacy. We wish his family and the wider tourism and business community strength and comfort during this time. May his soul rest in peace and God grant strength to his bereaved family.”
Director of Tourism