MONTEGO BAY — It was a night that celebrated the travel industry’s top contributors to sustainable tourism, and among the elite group of honourees was Gordon ‘Butch’ Stewart.
The chairman and founder of Sandals Resorts International was recently honoured for his contribution to sustainable global tourism growth and job creation in the Caribbean at the Global Conference on Jobs and Inclusive Growth: Partnerships for Sustainable Tourism. Taking place in Montego Bay from Nov. 27-29, the Conference was hosted by The United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), the Government of Jamaica, World Bank Group and Inter-American Development Bank.
While at the Conference’s Gala Dinner and Tourism Icon Awards, held on the final night, Stewart was presented with the Global Legend of the Caribbean Award. The ceremony was attended by heads of state from Jamaica, Saint Lucia and the Dominican Republic, as well as ministers of tourism and senior members of the tourism leadership from across the Caribbean.
“Knowing the humble beginnings of this company and after 36 years in this industry, I can truly say it is an honour to receive this award. Sandals is a homegrown brand with proud roots in Jamaica and the Caribbean and I am happy we have been able to have such an impact on the region by bringing guests from across the world to our beautiful shores and by creating jobs for Caribbean nationals,” said Stewart.
The night’s other awardees included David Scowsill, former president and chief executive officer of the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC), Taleb D. Rifai, who is concluding his second four-year term as Secretary-General of the World Tourism Organization, Micky Arison, chairman and chief executive officer of Carnival Corporation and Frank Rainieri, president and chief executive officer of Puntacana Group, a recognized leader of the tourism industry in the Dominican Republic.