Jamaica minister of tourism, Edmund Bartlett, has led a series of heartfelt tributes to Gordon ‘Butch’ Stewart, founder of Sandals Resorts International, who died earlier this week.
Stewart died in the United States at the age of 79 after a short illness.
Bartlett expressed his deep sadness at the passing and said: “Butch was truly an icon and innovator, philanthropist and perhaps the greatest marketer tourism has ever seen.
“Sandals is indeed the largest and most enduring brand created by a Caribbean entrepreneur in tourism and arguably the world today and the standard by which luxury all-inclusive is judged.
“I hail him as a father, leader, benefactor, and the greatest tourism entrepreneur of our time.
“His passing is truly devastating,” said the minister.
Stewart was the founder of Sandals Resorts, the leading hotel chain in the Caribbean, Beaches Resorts, and their parent company Sandals Resorts International.
He was also the founder and chairman of the ATL Group of Companies and the Jamaica Observer.
“Gordon ‘Butch’ Stewart has made an indelible mark.
“He has established himself as not just the standard by which entrepreneurship can be judged, but he has established a brand that has become global and is also