Jamaica’s first female Director of Tourism Carrole Guntley is the recipient of this year’s Lifetime Achievement Award, the Caribbean Tourism Organisation’s most prestigious honor. Ms. Guntley was presented with the special award during the Allied Awards Luncheon at the Wyndham New Yorker Hotel on Friday, June 6, 2014.
The Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB) in saluting Ms. Guntley, who led the agency between 1984 and 1990, described her as a regional tourism stalwart most deserving of this recognition. With almost four decades of service to tourism in Jamaica and the Caribbean, Ms. Guntley has established an international reputation for innovation and leadership in the field.
It was during her tenure as Jamaica’s Tourism Director that the island achieved the landmark target of welcoming one million visitors in a calendar year.
“Carrole is a respected and tireless advocate for Caribbean tourism and especially for Jamaica.” noted Dennis Morrsion, Chairman of the Jamaica Tourist Board. “She is truly deserving of this latest accolade. We extend our sincere congratulations to her on this significant honor.”
Ms. Guntley was also responsible for developing the first Tourism Teacher’s Guide and pictorial map of Jamaica for schools and launched the island’s premier tourism trade show – the Jamaica Product Exchange (JAPEX).
Her career with the Jamaica Tourist Board dates back to the early 70s while she attended the Ryerson Polytechnic Institute in Toronto, Canada. Up until 1978, she worked summer and vacation jobs with the organisation, both in Jamaica and Canada. Her various positions included Telephone Communications Operator and Administrative Assistant in the Product Department.
While at Ryerson, she received numerous accolades in recognition of her exceptional academic achievements. The awards included: The Inaugural Pringle Scholarship in Hotel Management awarded by the JTB; the Ryerson and Korey Gold Medals for exceptional academic achievement and extensive participation in co-curricular and extra-curricular activities.
On receipt of her degree in Hotel and Tourism Management, she worked, from 1976 to 1978, as Executive Sales Manager of the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel in Kingston, from 1978 to 1983, as Director of Sales and Public Relations at the Rose Hall Inter-Continental Hotel and Country Club in Montego Bay. In 1983 she was appointed Special Assistant to then Minister of Tourism Anthony Abrahams, before her appointment a year later as Director of Tourism.
Her contribution to Jamaica’s tourism has not gone unnoticed and in addition to her numerous citations and awards, Ms. Guntley is a recipient of the Order of Distinction, Commander Class, presented by the Government of Jamaica. She most recently served as Director General in Jamaica’s Ministry of Tourism and Entertainment.
Her impact on tourism spans the entire region, having served as Area Manager for Jamaica, St. Maarten & Western Caribbean for BWIA, and European Marketing Manager for the Caribbean Tourism Organisation.
“What a privilege and a pleasure it is to be able to honour 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 Carrole it’s well deserved.”