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Sandals Resorts founder, the late Gordon “Butch” Stewart, has been honoured by Frontier Airlines with the naming of a new aircraft to be delivered in 2023. Citing his work to strengthen and foster tourism in Jamaica, the carrier will name the plane tail “Stewart the Red-Billed Streamertail,” also incorporating Jamaica’s national bird to Frontier’s signature plane tails program.

The new design was unveiled by Frontier Airlines President and CEO Barry Biffle at a recent ceremonial event held at Sandals Montego Bay.

“Sharing Jamaica with the world was my father’s joy and our hearts are filled with immense pride with the introduction of ‘Stewart the Red-Billed Streamertail’ to the Frontier fleet. I know that my dad would be so proud to have our Jamaican ‘doctor bird’ flying once again,” said Adam Stewart, Executive Chairman of Sandals Resorts International.

He added, “Thank you, Frontier – we are honoured that you have chosen to pay tribute to him in this extraordinary way. His legendary spirit will now continue to soar over his beloved Jamaica.”

“We present this new design in recognition of the work that Mr. Stewart, and indeed the entire Stewart family, has done for tourism in Jamaica,” said Biffle.

A fierce champion of tourism to Jamaica since entering the industry in 1981, Butch Stewart’s leadership helped resurrect Jamaica’s travel industry at the time, earning him the respect of his peers and the admiration of his countrymen. He was elected President of the Private Sector Organization of Jamaica in 1989 and was inducted in its “Hall of Fame” in 1995.

He also served as a Director of the Jamaica Tourist Board for a decade and as President of the Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association in the mid-80s, ably balanced government and private sector priorities, reconciled the concerns of large and small Jamaican hotels and raised public understanding of the tourism industry. Understanding the critical need for consistent lift to his island destination, in 1994, Stewart led a group of investors to take leadership of Air Jamaica, the Caribbean’s largest regionally based carrier.

Meanwhile, in recognizing his own work as an entrepreneur and philanthropist, Adam Stewart was conferred with an honorary Doctor of Laws (LLD) degree at the 2022 graduation ceremony of The University of the West Indies (The UWI), Mona Campus earlier this month (photo).

“I am humbled and so proud to be recognized by The UWI for the work I am passionate about,” he said. “My father… taught me that opportunity is a gift not to be wasted. His tenacity and drive to make life better not only for himself and his family, but for his employees, community and country gave me the firsthand understanding of what is possible when people are given a chance. I accept this degree with a full heart and the promise to continue to earn the confidence this illustrious body has placed in me.”

Jamaica Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett stated: “Not only has (Adam) so ably carried the mantle passed on by his late father, Hon. Gordon ‘Butch’ Stewart, but he has been taking the leading chain in the Caribbean to even greater heights.”

Among his many activities, Stewart is founder and President of the non-profit Sandals Foundation aimed at making a difference in the Caribbean communities where Sandals Resorts operates. All monies contributed by the public to the Sandals Foundation go directly to programs benefiting the Caribbean. He is also founder and active Chairman of the local non-profit ‘We Care for Cornwall Regional Hospital,’ which raises funds to improve hospital facilities and chairs the country’s Tourism Linkages Council, which seeks to enhance the capacity and competitiveness of local suppliers, making the strength of tourism work for all.

First published at Travel Industry Today

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