Sir Royston Hopkin: Passing of a Caribbean Tourism Legend

Sir Royston Hopkin: Passing of a Caribbean Tourism Legend
February 25, 2020 Bradley Cox

It is with great sadness that Green Globe has learnt of the passing of Sir Royston Hopkin KCMG, Grenadian hotelier and Caribbean travel and tourism legend. Sir Royston was known internationally as the longest serving board member of the Caribbean Hotel & Tourism Association (CHTA), an organisation where he also served as a past president.

As a true visionary, Sir Royston understood the travel and tourism industry from the basics of owning and managing his hugely successful Spice Island Beach Resort in Grenada, through to the ebb and flow of international tourism trends and markets. It is no understatement to say that he has been a major contributor to the success of the Caribbean as the world’s most famous holiday destination.

Sir Royston won many accolades over his long and illustrious career, among which he was named CHTA Hotelier of the Year and recognized with a Caribbean Hotel & Resort Investment Summit (CHRIS) Lifetime Achievement Award. This doyen won respect at home and abroad not only for his vision, but for the wisdom that came from the most modest of beginnings as a youngster working for his parents in their guest house.

On learning of Sir Royston’s passing, Green Globe CEO Guido Bauer said, “I am so truly saddened by this news. It is hard to imagine the Caribbean without this tower of inspiration. Like so many others, I owe Sir Royston so much in assisting me to build the success I have been able to achieve. His incisive advice and direction at key moments has allowed Green Globe to become the respected name and company that it is today across the Caribbean.

“While many will honour Sir Royston’s success as a hotelier, I personally will be thinking about his focus on the sustainability of the industry that he was building. I can remember many remarkable quotes from the few precious times I had chatting with him. He once quipped that, ‘we must make sure that the industry does not see each and every tourist as a walking wallet’. At first I thought how simple and funny that was, but the implications behind that quote have become very profound as I try to understand the precise factors that will make tourism a driver of greater development in the region.

“Sir Royston had a deep understanding of sustainability for tourism. From the very start of Green Globe, he had no hesitation in supporting myself and my company in our quest to introduce a clearly defined set of sustainability standards to the Caribbean. He also led by example with his Spice Island Beach Resort being the first in Grenada to be certified way back in 2009.

“At this sorrowful time, Green Globe would like to extend our condolences to Sir Royston’s family and to his many friends and supporters, extending from his home on Grenada across the Caribbean and beyond,” concluded Mr Bauer.