Govt, Opposition pay tribute to late tourism stalwart Robert Hendricks
ST JAMES, Jamaica – The Government and Opposition have paid tribute to the late tourism stalwart Robert Hendricks, who passed away at his St James home on Friday morning after a brief illness.
The late 75-year-old tour operator was the owner of Caribbean World Caribbean World Enterprises, a destination management company in St James.
Minister of Tourism, Edmund Bartlett described Hendricks as one of the pillars of Jamaica’s post-independence tourism industry.
“Robert was one of those notable Jamaicans who had an abiding faith in his country and was a firm believer in the contribution tourism could make to its development and the economic life of the people,” said Bartlett.
The tourism minister noted that Hendricks’ contributions to tourism cumulatively spanned over 40 years and that he was a trailblazer in all aspects of the word.
“Robert Hendricks was a firm believer in Jamaicans owning a share of the tourism pie and being involved at senior management levels. He demonstrated this as an entrepreneur in the tours, ground transportation and entertainment subsectors of the industry,” Bartlett noted.
Opposition Spokesperson of Tourism, Senator Janice Allen also paid tribute to Hendricks.
“I am deeply saddened and shocked to learn of Robert Hendricks’ passing today. Robert, so well- known in the industry, specifically within the transportation sector, contributed significantly to our tourism product,” Allen stated.
“As we reflect on his remarkable journey with Lollipop on the Beach and numerous other tourism contributions, Robert has left an enduring legacy that will extend far beyond his time with us. During this difficult time, our thoughts and heartfelt condolences go out to his family and friends and colleagues,” Allen said in a statement.
Hendricks started out as the owner of Lollipop on the Beach in Sandy Bay, Hanover, and then went on to set up Caribbean World Enterprises in St James. His entrepreneurial spirit saw him partnering in the establishment of Aquasol Beach Complex and then joining ground and tour operating company, Tropical Tours in sales and marketing.
Hendricks played key roles in several enterprises, displaying his skills as a natural salesman.
“He actually revolutionised marketing and sales, pioneering the introduction of tour guides and opening up thinking to different levels of marketing concepts that have been emulated by others in the tourism industry,” a release from the Ministry of Tourism quoted Bartlett as saying.
– Horace Hines