Jamaica and the entire tourism world has lost an icon and travel and tourism visionary with the passing of Gordon ‘Butch’ Stewart on Monday evening. The Jamaica Tourist Board offers sincere condolences to his widow Cheryl, his seven children, immediate and extended family, and the wider tourism community.
In reflecting on his passing, Chairman of the Jamaica Tourist Board John Lynch who worked with Stewart for decades spoke of his commitment to excellence. “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.”
Stewart was a leader in the hospitality industry, influencing the all-inclusive resort in a way that reshaped the notion of luxury. He was an extraordinary businessman and professional who cared genuinely about tourism and the many who benefited from the industry. He was not only a champion of hospitality, but his philanthropy and generous spirit was evident in many other areas of his life, having contributed to education and to community with the establishment of the Sandals Foundation.
Here at the Jamaica Tourist Board, we benefitted from his business acumen as he served two stints as a member of the Board of Director. From September 1984 to March 1986 and February 1989 to July 1997, his significant contribution helped to make Jamaica a world-class destination.
Donovan White, Jamaica’s Director of Tourism, believes “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,’ expressed Donovan White, Jamaica’s Director of Tourism. “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,” he added.