An international hospitality and tourism school is being established by Sandals Resorts International on its 40th anniversary in memory of its late founder.
The Gordon ‘Butch’ Stewart school will be located at the University of the West Indies in Montego Bay, Jamaica, in conjunction with Florida International University’s Chaplin School of Hospitality & Tourism Management.
The research-led facility will offer students meaningful educational opportunities beyond the classroom.
SRI executive chairman Adam Stewart said: “My father believed in learning by experience – ‘on-the-job training,’ as he often put it.
“As a consummate entrepreneur and a lifelong dreamer, he knew success was born beyond the boardroom; found instead in the moments of exploration and discovery.
“It’s this drive that will inspire the world-class curriculum, putting students in real-world experiences as part of their development.”
The new school will complement the Sandals Corporate University, which was created to provide Caribbean-based Sandals staff with opportunities to improve and develop occupational skills, and to earn undergraduate and post-graduate degrees.
“When we invest in Caribbean people, we invest in the future of the region,” Stewart added.
The not-for-profit Sandals Foundation is also identifying 40 projects that best showcase the link between tourism and its power to transform Caribbean communities and improve lives.
Projects will be selected across five main areas – supporting local farmers, hospitality training and certification, preserving natural resources, harnessing unique artisan crafts and community outreach.
A Sandals ‘PalmCast’ podcast is also being created to give the latest updates on resorts.
Stewart said: “This year marks an incredible milestone for Sandals Resorts, and it’s especially meaningful as we take this moment to honour what my father created and carry on his revered legacy across the Caribbean.
“Since the flagship opening in 1981 at Sandals Montego Bay, we have continued to elevate and lead the all-inclusive resort space.
“More than that, we have demonstrated that some of the industry’s most exciting and lasting hospitality innovation is created in the Caribbean.
“I’m proud to celebrate this milestone for our company alongside our Sandals family as we look to the next 40 years of inspired Caribbean vision and innovation.”