Butch Stewart awarded as Icon of Tourism at UNWTO gala dinner in MoBay
Founder and chairman of Sandals Resorts International Gordon ‘Butch’ Stewart was celebrated and awarded as a Global Iconic legend of tourism at a UNWTO gala dinner held at the Montego Bay Convention Centre.
This prestigious event was part of the United Nations World Tourism Organisation’s ( UNWTO) Global Conference on Jobs and Inclusive Growth: Partnership for Sustainable Tourism held in Jamaica earlier this week and hosted by Minister of Tourism Ed Bartlett.
Gordon ‘Butch’ Stewart was honoured for turning the Sandals brand he founded almost forty years ago into one of the leading hotel resort brands in the world renown for luxury service and showcasing the very best of the Caribbean to the world.
Beginning in 1981, he bought his first hotel in Montego Bay, rebranded it Sandals and set a standard which even today has been emulated as a leader in its class. With no hotel management experience, he set about turning the Sandals brand into a resort chain that now has world recognition. Always evolving,he introduced many unique features that set Sandals apart from its competitors.
Exhibiting daring, a phenomenal work ethic, business acumen, chutzpah all underpinned by the watchword, “top class service” he has played an indelible role in putting the Caribbean on the map as a tourism destination.
Always proud to acknowledge his Jamaican and Caribbean roots he remains a champion of the region and promotes it every opportunity he gets.
Accepting his award, he acknowledged the contribution to Sandals’s success of his family, management team and colleagues pointing out that Sandals is primarily a Caribbean company run mainly by executives from the region.
He also emphasized the importance of helping the development of communities where the resorts reside and employing its people and leaving an economic and financial footprint which in turn benefits the island states of the Caribbean.
He noted that the Sandals University allows an employee to enter as an entry level staff member or practically illiterate and leave with an MBA in hospitality.
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