|BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (May 11, 2005) -- The ninth annual edition of
the Caribbean Hotel & Tourism Investment Conference (CHTIC 2005) concluded
this 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
determination that have carved Butch Stewart a place in Caribbean history.
The 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.
|“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
Left to right, Barbados Prime Minister Owen Arthur,
Dr. Gordon Stewart, and CHA
President Berthia Parle.
CHTIC has the specific objectives of improving the tourism investment
and operating climate across the region; making the investment community
aware of the development opportunities available in the Caribbean; and
stimulating a continuing flow of both equity and loan capital into the
region. It was held May 9-11, 2005, at the Sherbourne Conference
Centre in Barbados, presented by the Caribbean Hotel Association (CHA),
in conjunction with the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO), and Burba
Hotel Network (BHN).
The event featured for the first time the PROFIT in the Caribbean Partnership
Meeting, a business component that matches pre-qualified tourism projects
in the Caribbean with pre-screened European investors to promote partnership
and investment opportunities in the tourism sector.