News Americas, BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, Tues. April 10, 2018: Caribbean regional tourism officials are mourning one of their own, who passed away on Friday, April 6th after a battle with cancer.
Bonita Morgan, director of resource mobilization and development of the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO), was reportedly undergoing treatment for cancer when she died.
Morgan, 61, had been with the CTO since April 1996. On Monday, officials there remembered her as a “consummate professional who had a profoundly positive impact on those with whom she worked or interacted, and touched hearts in the most fundamental ways.”
“Her calm and comforting demeanor, her penchant for providing a listening ear, her respect for colleagues, her welcoming embrace, and her selflessness were exemplary,” the CTO statement noted.
Morgan was credited with introducing many impactful projects and programs during her tenure at the CTO, including the development of harmonized curricula for the associate degree tourism/hospitality program across the region; tourism education materials for primary and secondary schools, showcasing careers in tourism through a variety of media; organizing an annual tourism youth congress and biennial tourism human resources conference, and being the driving force behind the CTO Foundation – the program which provides scholarships and grants to Caribbean nationals pursuing post-secondary studies in tourism, hospitality and language training, and which she administered from its inception in 1997.
She was also very instrumental in bringing to the Caribbean in 2007, the internationally recognized Hospitality Assured certification program, which promotes a culture of quality, service excellence and continuous improvement within the tourism and hospitality sector in the region.
“Bonita was a person of strong faith. She had a big heart and compassion for the less fortunate in the community, as evidenced by the effort she put into raising funds for needy families through the ‘Yes We Care’ program at Baobab Tower, the building at which the CTO headquarters is housed in Barbados,” the CTO said Monday.
“By encouraging members of staff of the various offices to contribute $1 each month, the program helped at-risk families, as well as the Caribbean Dyslexia Association, and collected supplies for Dominica after the passage of Hurricane Maria last year.”
Officials said that throughout her battle with cancer, Morgan “displayed her characteristic determination and bravery.”
“Never was her spirit crushed, her will weakened or her resolved shattered. She faced the challenge without a complaint and with an upbeat attitude. But that was Bonita through and through – always positive, always believing,” the statement added.
“Her passing is a tremendous loss, not just to the Caribbean Tourism Organization, but to the entire Caribbean region, and we all will miss her perspective, knowledge and her deep understanding of tourism and human capital development,” CTO officials stated.
Morgan is survived by her husband, Paul; children Jonathan, Maya and Ayana, and other family members.