“He was our most significant fan”: Brokers, retail groups, tour ops react to passing of Gordon ‘Butch’ Stewart

Gordon ‘Butch’ Stewart

“He was our greatest fan”: Brokers, retail groups, tour ops respond to passing of Gordon ‘Butch’ Stewart

Tuesday, January 5, 2021

TORONTO — If there was one particular particular person who could truly be called an icon of the vacation marketplace, it was Gordon ‘Butch’ Stewart.

As the founder of Sandals Resorts, and later Shorelines Resorts, as properly as many other initiatives from Island Routes to The Sandals Basis, Stewart remodeled and gave back again to Caribbean tourism like no one particular else.

He handed away Jan. 4, 2021 at the age of 79, leaving guiding his family members and an remarkable legacy of resorts across the Caribbean. As he always said, Sandals Resorts didn’t invent the all-inclusive strategy, ‘but we perfected it.’

“He was our biggest fan”: Agents, retail groups, tour ops react to passing of Gordon ‘Butch’ Stewart

Sandals Resorts Intercontinental Chairman Butch Stewart and ACV’s Managing Director, Nino Montagnese

“Mr. Stewart was a not only an astounding person but one particular of the fairest businessmen I have ever labored with,” Nino Montagnese, Managing Director, Air Canada Vacations told Travelweek this early morning. “Today is a unhappy day… His passion for our industry will have several of us mourning his reduction.”

Montagnese thanked Stewart “for your friendship and wonderful perseverance to our industry” and reported his heartfelt condolences go out to the Stewarts and the entire Sandals loved ones.


Winner OF Vacation Brokers

The sturdy connection involving Stewart, Sandals Resorts, and companies like ACV was just a single aspect of an very focused partnership to the vacation trade, and specifically travel brokers.

Stewart experienced very long championed the do the job that travel brokers do. He appreciated to joke that the reason Sandals Resorts experienced these very long and complex names for their room types was to get probable travellers to find out a travel agent’s assistance to figure out the variance amongst every single 1.


As recently as April 2020, a Sandals Resorts video had Stewart presenting encouraging words and phrases for agents navigating the to start with chaotic times and weeks of the pandemic. Noting that agents have usually been the spine of Sandals’ achievement, Stewart informed agents: “I really don’t want you to stress because each individual small point is going to be just fantastic.”

Lois Barbour, Journey Time TPI in St. John’s, NL, has had award-profitable scheduling volumes with Sandals Resorts for a long time. “Mr. Stewart was definitely 1 of the greats in the travel sector,” states Barbour, adding that he was “a legitimate visionary, who appreciated and supported the vacation agent community in so quite a few approaches.”

https://www.youtube.com/check out?v=TCdkvTT22Gg

When Barbour had the prospect to meet Stewart, “it was this kind of an honour and to know he truly appreciated my company was mind-boggling. That has by no means wavered over the many years and numerous occasions of interacting with him at situations, conferences and meetings. A genuine icon who will be skipped in the travel marketplace, by the Sandals family, and all across the Caribbean. My condolences go out to his relatives for their decline.”



An additional leading producer for Sandals Resorts, Kim Hartlen with Kim Hartlen Vacation TPIin Lower Sackville, NS. “The globe has lost a accurate Caribbean legend,” Hartlen instructed Travelweek. “Having been in lots of meetings with him over the a long time he usually made you feel like you had a voice, just one he constantly listened to. His motivation and appreciate for the travel agents was always so crucial to him. He was our greatest enthusiast!! Today I really feel the reduction of a spouse and children member because that is how Mr. Stewart and Sandals household designed me come to feel and heading to Sandals & Beach locations Resorts has often felt like I was property. My coronary heart and prayers go out to the full household and Sandals relatives.”

“He was our biggest fan”: Agents, retail groups, tour ops react to passing of Gordon ‘Butch’ Stewart

Butch and Kim Hartlen

At the December 2019 Sandals STAR Awards, TPI was one of two Canadian host agencies honoured among the company’s Major 10 Journey Companies.

Zeina Gedeon, CEO, TPI, told Travelweek: “I am not positive what to say about Hon. Gordon Butch. I started out wondering of all that he is/was: a legend, a titan, a mentor, Innovator, visionary, pioneer trailblazer, marketing and advertising genius, philanthropist and I can go on with extra words to describe this remarkable person. I am permanently grateful to call him my close friend, and I will under no circumstances fail to remember all that he taught me. To Adam and the Stewart loved ones my sincerest condolences, it is a great decline for all. May perhaps he rest in peace.”



Sandy Willett, Department Supervisor with Eyesight Vacation Solutions in Waterloo, ON, acquired the CEO Award of Excellence at the December 2019 STAR Awards. “Butch WAS Sandals,” Willett tells Travelweek. “It was normally so remarkable to see him at features and to get a hug from him when I received an award! He recognized travel agents and constantly realized how important we were being to his business.”

Willett adds that as well as getting an incredible businessman, Stewart also gave back again so substantially to the islands, whether that intended constructing colleges, sending gear to educational institutions or producing confident the kids experienced Xmas gifts each individual yr. “One yr I was at Sandals South Coastline and they introduced all the area children to the resort and Santa arrived by helicopter with their offers. These a great expertise – quite heartwarming.”

Willett provides: “Such a reduction for the vacation business but I believe so a lot of of us have been blessed by his kindness and humility.”

Kathryn Folliott
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