|From left to right, CTO Chairman Beverly Nicholson-Doty, Carrole Guntley and CTO Secretary General Hugh Riley|
A long-time Jamaican tourism professional recently received the Caribbean Tourism Organization's (CTO) highest honor for a virtual lifetime of dedicated service to country and region.
The former director general of tourism for Jamaica, Carrole Guntley, whose career in both the public and private sectors spanned four decades, was presented with the prestigious CTO’s Lifetime Achievement Award at an awards luncheon organized in collaboration with USA Today and the CTO Allied members.
“What a privilege and a pleasure it was to be able to honor Carrole Guntley with the Lifetime Achievement Award," said Hugh Riley, the CTO’s secretary general. "This is just a small way of saying ‘thank you’ to Ms. Guntley for the tremendous contribution she has made to the life of CTO and to Caribbean tourism in general. Congratulations to Carrole it’s well deserved."
Guntley, whose career in tourism began in 1971 as a reservation sales agent at the then Pan American Airlines, also worked in the hotel sector before she became Jamaica’s first female director of tourism in 1984.
During her tenure, Jamaica reached the important milestone of one million visitors in a single year for the first time, and earned the reputation as a year-round destination. She also launched the Jamaica Product Exchange (JAPEX), the country’s first and only sustained travel trade show.
From 1990-1992, Guntley served as the CTO’s first European marketing manager, establishing the CTO London office and developing and implementing marketing programmes for the CTO European Chapters.
She returned to the airline industry in 1992 as area manager for Jamaica and the Western Caribbean at what was then BWIA West Indies Airways. She was appointed as her countries director general of tourism in 1999, a position she held until the start of this year.
The CTO Lifetime Achievement Award honors long serving, high performance professionals whose careers have truly made a difference in the Caribbean. The award is for achievement over a period of several years rather than a single contribution. It recognizes achievement that distinguishes the individual’s work and provides a legacy for future generations.