The outstanding work of the Sandals Foundation to develop Caribbean communities and inspire hope in the lives of the region’s people has once again been recognized as it was named “Favorite Responsible/Philanthropic Travel Foundation” at the prestigious Agents’ Choice Awards for the second straight year. The announcement was made at the highly-anticipated Canadian travel industry event held virtually on October 1, 2020.
Sandals Foundation was founded in 2009 by Deputy Chairman of Sandals Resorts International, Adam Stewart, to expand the philanthropic work that had been a core function of the luxury-inclusive resort chain since opening its doors 39 years ago.
“The Caribbean is home, and its people are family. We are committed to reinvesting in our home and providing opportunities that help our region’s people believe in and create a better future for themselves and future generations,” said Adam Stewart, Deputy Chairman of Sandals Resorts International.
The Agents’ Choice Awards were established in 1999 by Toronto-based Baxter Media and its flagship publications, Canadian Travel Press and Travel Courier. The annual survey is the largest sampling of Canadian travel agents selecting their favorite travel suppliers in various categories. This year, even during the COVID-19 pandemic, close to 6,000 Canadian travel professionals cast their votes in 38 categories.
Stewart, who is also the President of the Sandals Foundation, affirmed: “We are very grateful to be recognized by the incredible travel agents across Canada with this award. They are a critical partner that makes our work possible. Together with our team members, guests, and partners we have made a positive imprint in the lives of more than 990,000 people.”
In 2019, the Sandals Foundation was accepted by the Department of Global Communications of the United Nations as one of the organizations whose efforts are contributing significantly to implementing the Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Even as the region experienced uncertainty due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Foundation remained a beacon, providing relief and support to families and social services.
Heidi Clarke, Executive Director at the Sandals Foundation, said that the registered charity will continue to do its part to ensure that the eight islands in which they operate are on track for a sustainable future.
“As a regional organization, it is our mission to invest in the sustainable development of the Caribbean. We will continue to strengthen communities, invest in literacy and education, support livelihoods, engage our youth, help those in need, strengthen healthcare, and protect the environment through life-changing programs that empower lives,” said Clarke.
The Sandals Foundation operates in Jamaica, St. Lucia, Grenada, Antigua, Barbados, Turks and Caicos, and The Bahamas working in the areas of education, community, and the environment.