The ninth annual edition of the Caribbean Hotel & Tourism Investment Conference (CHTIC 2005) concluded yesterday afternoon two days of high-level discussions that brought together the hotel and tourism industry, governments, and the finance and investment communities to address the most recent issues affecting the development of Caribbean tourism. The high-level, prolific gathering was marked by the presentation of the CHTIC 2005 Lifetime Achievement Award to Jamaican hotelier and entrepreneur, Dr. Gordon “Butch” Stewart, in recognition of his accomplishments in the lodging industry, as well as for his substantial contributions to the community
Ê“This award was established last year to honor the people that take the notion of success to its pinnacle,” said Caribbean Hotel Association (CHA) President Berthia Parle, MBE.
“In addition to his mark as an innovator and trendsetter, who re-defined all-inclusive vacationing in the Caribbean, Butch gives new meaning to the term philanthropy; before terms such as corporate responsibility ever hit the mainstream in the tourism industry, Sandals and Beaches Resorts had become active citizens in their surrounding communities.”
Sandals’ Mafoota Farmers Market is a recent example of the vision and determination that have carved Butch Stewart a place in Caribbean history.ÊThe eight-year association of Sandals Montego Bay with the Mafoota Farmers, in which the hotel initially supplied seeds of exotic vegetables to the farmers, the Rural Agricultural Development Authority provided extension services, and the hotel provided a market for the crops, has developed into something even greater.
On a recent trip to Mafoota by the Sandals team, it was discovered that hundred of pounds of vegetables are dumped each week because the farmers do not have enough of a market for their produce. In response, Sandals Montego Bay launched the Mafoota Farmers’ Market, which now takes place every Friday by the taxi stand at the property. Sandals Montego Bay provides the location, a big tent, and promotion for the market. The Mafoota farmers bring fresh produce, which is sold at almost farm gate prices. On inauguration day, patrons came from all over Montego Bay and most of the produce was sold off within the first hour.
From all of us at Breaking Travel News, we salute you Butch, congratulations.