Photo: Courtesy of Netfalls
Sandals Resorts International's executive chairman, Adam Stewart, is "a sixth-generation beach bum from the Caribbean" and son to Sandals' founder, legendary hotelier Gordon "Butch" Stewart, who passed away in January 2021. Unlike many in the tourism sector since the onset of the pandemic, Stewart has not been discouraged by the adverse effects that COVID-19 has had on tourism (travelweekly.com). On the contrary, during the height of the pandemic, he and his father decided that Sandals would "aggressively expand" (travelweekly.com). As Stewart recalls the period when he was at home on Zoom calls, "In my home office, on my right, I would look to a garden, and on my left, I looked to the Caribbean Sea. The sky had never been clearer. The sand had never been whiter, and the water had never been bluer. So, from the get-go, our organization took a policy decision that this too shall pass, and everything we're going to do on a day-to-day basis is for the resumption of Caribbean travel" (travelweekly.com).
Following his father's death, Stewart and his brothers and sisters got together to decide which direction to take the company. According to Stewart, "We could sell the company, we could pause and do nothing, or we could double down. We decided to take this company to the moon and double the size over the next ten years" (travelweekly.com).
Now, with multiple building and renovation efforts underway, Stewart has set his and his father's plans in motion to bring a new level of luxury to the Caribbean. With three projects in Ocho Rios, Jamaica, and one in Curacao, Saint Vincent, and Nassau, Stewart has demonstrated his continued faith in the Caribbean as a destination and his love for the islands as his home. In Stewart's own words, "All of these projects are a commitment to my dad's legacy and a testament to our confidence in the Caribbean. I believe that our company is leading the recovery of tourism in the Caribbean, and the future will be bright and strong" (travelweekly.com).