Donnie Dawson, the current deputy director of tourist for the Americas for the Jamaica Tourist Board, will retire at the end of March after 40 years at the organization.
Dawson first joined the Jamaica Tourist Board at its Kingston headquarters in 1975 as a sales representative. He left the organization for a brief stint at Jamaica resort Hotels, before rejoining its regional California office in 1982. He was appointed deputy director of tourism for the board in 2003 at its Miami offices and served two full terms as interim director of tourism.
In its announcement, Jamaica Tourist Board said Dawson, who earned himself the nickname of “Mr. Airlift” among colleagues due to his ongoing work with airlines to provide service to Jamaica, is credited with helping to develop the destination’s strong relationship with advisors, including the Jamaica Travel Specialist education program.
“Jamaica is deeply indebted to Donnie Dawson for his decades of service to develop and promote tourism to the island,” said Hon. Edmund Bartlett, Minister of Tourism, Jamaica. “He has been a steadfast ambassador throughout the years, dedicated to helping Jamaica become one of the world’s leading tourism destinations. We are truly grateful to him for everything he has accomplished and wish him a very happy retirement.”
In a statement announcing his retirement, Dawson said he was proud of the work that he and the team at the Jamaica Tourist Board have done over the past few decades.
“I am so proud of all Jamaica has accomplished throughout the years, having grown from having only charter flights and no all-inclusives to become one of the top tourism destinations globally,” said Donnie Dawson.
“It’s amazing to me and, while I have made the decision to enter retirement and instead work on my golf game, I want to thank the Jamaica Tourist Board and Ministry of Tourism for all the wonderful opportunities and career they have afforded me. I have sincerely cherished it and am grateful for a lifetime of fond memories.”