A Well-Deserved Honour

The legendary founder and chairman of Sandals Resorts International, Gordon ‘Butch’ Stewart has received the inaugural Lifetime Achievement Award at the annual Caribbean Hotel & Resort Investment Summit (CHRIS).

Burba Hotel Network, the host of CHRIS, presents the award to individuals who have made significant contributions to the hospitality industry over his or her lifetime through their actions, deeds and great accomplishments.

Surrounded by an audience filled with family and friends, colleagues and Caribbean hospitality luminaries such as Bahamian tourism icon George Myers, former Caribbean Hotel Association head John H. Bell and veteran American Airlines executive Peter Dolara, Stewart recounted a life spent in pursuit of opportunity.

“It is such an incredible honour to be the first honouree to receive the inaugural CHRIS Lifetime Achievement Award,” Stewart told the audience attending the Summit.

He observed:

“While I am so proud of all that has happened to bring me to this day, I am focused on what tomorrow may bring and continuing to raise the bar for Caribbean tourism.”

Stewart’s innovations changed the face of the all-inclusive format and established Sandals Resorts, and now Beaches Resorts, as one of the most successful brands in the category — boasting year round occupancy levels of more than 85%, an unequaled repeat guest factor of 40% and demand that has led to unprecedented expansion.

Today, SRI has 10 resorts and three private villas in Jamaica, three in Saint Lucia, three in The Bahamas, two in Antigua, one in Grenada, two in Barbados and one in Turks & Caicos.

Jim Burba, president of Burba Hotel Network, said that:

“We are very pleased to be able to present the inaugural CHRIS Lifetime Achievement Award to Hon. Gordon Arthur ‘Butch’ Stewart. The success of Sandals has helped to power the growth of the tourism industry and the economies not only in Jamaica but throughout the Caribbean. The word ‘icon’ certainly applies to Butch Stewart and we are delighted to be honouring him with this Award.”

Stewart’s successes have garnered hundreds of personal and industry awards, but perhaps less well-known is the extent of his considerable philanthropy.

Sandals Resorts International currently gives active support to more than 150 major projects in its host communities, through the company’s philanthropic arm, The Sandals Foundation.

This support ranges from the building of schools to the paying of teachers, to providing hospitals with linens, to bringing healthcare to the doorsteps of those who cannot afford it.

Seen in the photo, are Gordon ‘Butch’ Stewart (right) founder and chairman, Sandals Resorts International receiving the inaugural CHRIS Lifetime Achievement Award from Jim Burba, president of Burba Hotel Network, host of the annual Caribbean Hotel & Resort Investment Summit.