Sandals chairman and founder Gordon 'Butch' Stewart has been awarded the Outstanding Achievement Award at the Globe Travel Awards 2012.
Stewart was honoured during a glittering ceremony at this year’s Travel Weekly awards at the Grosvenor House hotel in London.
The award, sponsored by Avis, was presented to Stewart in recognition of his contribution to the industry and to the communities in which his company operates.
Accepting the award, Stewart said: “I am delighted to accept this award on behalf of the 10,000 people that work for me."
Stewart oversees a multi-billion dollar business empire, the largest non-government employer in Jamaica. He began his career in sales before branching out on his own in 1968 as the owner of an air conditioner service and distribution company.
While working as a supplier to the island's first all-inclusive holiday resort in 1980 he recognised a golden opportunity to buy an old hotel on one of Montego Bay's largest beaches. Seven months and a four million dollar renovation later, Sandals Montego Bay opened its doors to its first guests. There are now 23 properties operating under the Sandals, Beaches and Grand Pineapple Resorts brands across the Caribbean.
Carnival UK's customer care and communications manager Andrew Baldwin won the Penny Akam Unsung Hero in Travel award for his innovative programme to look after staff and customers. He said: "I'm obviously very proud, but it's a huge shock. I've got a huge team behind me, and we have all tried to change the way we deal with difficult situations that happen to the business from time to time, and do the best we can for our customers.
"Recent events in the business as a whole have certainly highlighted the need for what we do."