17 AUG 2011: Eric Anthony Abrahams, popularly known as ‘Tony’ Jamaica’s third Director of Tourism and the first Minister of Tourism died earlier this month. He was 71.
Current Director of Tourism John D. Lynch, said Tony Abrahams’ accomplishments changed the course of Jamaican tourism. He was responsible for the creation of a Department of Planning, Research and Statistics, which equipped the JTB for the first time with its own facility for marketing Jamaica, the introduction of a new division within the JTB to monitor the standard and quality of the product (a precursor to today’s Tourism Product Development Company), and the establishment of a subsidiary company to address the development of visitor attractions.
In a statement, Lynch said, “Personally, I am proud to call Tony Abrahams a friend and mentor. His boundless energy, his quirky sense of humour and his uncanny eye for creative detail have been good signals for me throughout my career.
“As we mourn his passing, let us also celebrate his life. As Director of Tourism, Eric Anthony Abrahams was a pioneer, a marketing revolutionary, and a brilliant leader. On behalf of the JTB, I extend deepest sympathy to his family and colleagues he has left behind. We will always feel gratitude for a lifetime so dedicated to paving the way for Jamaica’s future.”