Caribbean hotel mogul Gordon “Butch” Stewart was recently honored with the World Travel Awards’ inaugural Tourism Pioneer Award.
He was hailed for his unwavering determination “to make tourism a force of real change and betterment throughout the Caribbean.”
Graham Cooke, founder of World Travel Awards, presented Stewart, who is chairman of the Sandals and Beaches resorts chain and the ATL GROUP of companies, which includes the Observer, with the prestigious award.
The awards banquet was held at Sandals Royal Caribbean Hotel in Montego Bay.
Stewart’s innovative achievements in tourism are from his acquisition of a struggling hotel in Montego Bay in l991 to the creation of a brand that stretches across the Caribbean, which is world-renowned.
According to Cooke, Stewart’s “passion for the Caribbean, creative leadership and commitment to quality” saw the Montego Bay property “transformed into a haven for two people in love and today it remains the flagship of what has grown into the most successful all-inclusive brand in the world.”
The World Travel Awards founder also praised Stewart for his philanthropy, describing it as “one of the cornerstones of his philosophy.”
Explaining that the goal of the World Travel Awards is to seek out those individuals who are doing more than anyone else to transform the industry, Cooke said that Stewart was among “those players whose vision, courage and dedication are making tourism a force for good, and a force for change.”