Bartlett mourns the death of a tourism stalwart – Jamaica Observer
Minister of Tourism Edmund Bartlett
ST THOMAS, Jamaica – Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett yesterday expressed his “profound sadness” over the passing of the general manager of the popular Bath Fountain Hotel, Desmond Blair.
Blair had run the Bath Fountain, one of the Department of Tourism’s eight public bodies, since 2001.
“I am deeply saddened by the sudden passing of Mr. Blair. On behalf of the entire tourism fraternity, I would like to extend my condolences to his family. He was a diligent and astute manager who used best practices which led to his great improvements at Bath Fountain,” Bartlett said.
He added that the hotelier was passionate about improvements to the health and wellness facility that would cement its status as a world-renowned mineral bath, and looked forward to the impending developments that would.
“I am saddened that Mr Blair does not see these changes materialize, but very grateful for his many years of dedicated service to the local tourism industry. May his soul rest in peace,” added the Minister for Tourism.
Originally from St Ann, Blair was considered a stalwart of the hospitality industry, having honed his skills over the decades in management positions at various properties in Montego Bay and St Ann, including Quality Inn, Montego Bay Club Resort, the Gloucestershire, Americana and Runaway Bay Hotels between 1975 and 1981.
Blair, who died of natural causes, was also a hotel inspector at another public ministry agency – the Tourism Product Development Company (TPDCo).
In 1972, he received a scholarship from the Federal Republic of Germany to pursue studies in hotel and tourism management at the Carl Duisberg Hotel and Tourism Institute in Munich, Germany.