Making a positive impact on the lives of others is a noble legacy and undeniably, one which the friends and family of the late Gordon “Butch” Stewart are undoubtedly proud of when thinking of him. His vision for Sandals Resorts—one of the first all-inclusive holiday vacation opportunities in the Caribbean—along with the other endeavors in his vast portfolio created opportunities for the country of Jamaica and the Caribbean to shine in the international market.
As a fellow entrepreneur and colleague in tourism, it was a privilege to have had the opportunity to develop a relationship with Mr. Stewart throughout the years. His larger-than-life personality and keen business acumen earned him the distinction of being recognized as an iconic Jamaican businessman. Butch was a tourism magnate, earning him many accolades and national distinctions including “Travel Man of the Millennium” for his work in promoting Caribbean tourism and the Caribbean World Magazine’s Lifetime Achievement Award for his work in Jamaica.
On behalf of The Cayman Islands Government, Ministry and Department of Tourism, we extend our most sincere condolences to his family and friends at this time. We celebrate the lifetime of achievements that Mr. Stewart contributed to the Caribbean. He will be missed.
The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism & Aviation extends sincere condolences on the passing of Gordon “Butch” Stewart.
Two decades ago, the visionary Jamaican hotelier Butch Stewart brought the Sandals brand to The Bahamas and joined hands with us in building a leading tourism destination.
Today, as we mourn the passing of a global trailblazer in the hospitality industry, we are singularly proud and grateful for the legacy that Butch Stewart has bequeathed to us in The Bahamas. Butch impacted our national economy by directing the crafting of a signature vacation experience — the Sandals vacation — which has become an integral part of the tourism product of The Islands of The Bahamas.
Butch Stewart’s contribution to The Bahamas over the past twenty years has been national in scope and deeply personal to the lives of thousands of our fellow Bahamians who, through employment with the Sandals brands, have built sustainable careers, homes and families. Sandals International continues to impact our local community through ongoing philanthropic outreach.
“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,” said Minister of Tourism & Aviation, Dionisio D’Aguilar.
History will record Gordon “Butch” Stewart as a game changer in the delivery of the globally coveted Caribbean vacation product, having elevated the all inclusive resort model to a five star, world class experience.
The prayers of the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism & Aviation, our hospitality community and fellow Bahamians go out to Butch’s family and the extended Sandals family throughout the Caribbean.
Gordon ‘Butch’ Stewart was a Caribbean giant in the tourism industry.
It is often forgotten that, despite his humble beginnings, he competed against the biggest names in tourism to build a successful and respected network of hotels across the Caribbean.
That undertaking was not easy. It required a special person with unique skills and committed drive to successfully overcome the challenges from established institutions, and to carve a universally known brand name.
Butch Stewart was all of that and more.
He was a Jamaican – a land to which he was deeply committed, but he regarded the Caribbean as his wider fraternal community.
Antigua and Barbuda was pleased to welcome one of his first Sandals ventures outside of Jamaica and, without a shred of doubt, the standards he established made a significant contribution to the growth of our tourism.
We join his relatives and the Sandals family across the region in mourning the falling of a true Caribbean champion and hero.
BRIDGETOWN, Barbados – 5 Jan. 2021 – 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.