The Caribbean Tourism Organization and the Caribbean region mourns the lost a great representative with the untimely passing of Bonita Morgan, director of resource mobilization and development, who died on Friday morning 6 April in the United States, where she was undergoing treatment for cancer.
Bonita, who had been with the CTO since April 1996, was 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.
A hard-working, dedicated and committed the member of the CTO family, Bonita had a great passion for the development of Caribbean youth and world-class service, and she dedicated the best part of her working life to helping release the potential of Caribbean people through education, training, and professional development.
The later Bonita introduced several programmes and projects during her tenure at the CTO. Some of these programmes and projects included the development of harmonized curricula for the associate degree tourism and hospitality programme across the region. Also, tourism education materials for primary and secondary schools, showcasing careers in tourism through a variety of media. She too, organizing an annual tourism youth congress and biennial tourism human resources conference and being the driving force behind the CTO Foundation – the programme 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.
Bonita was also very instrumental in bringing to the Caribbean in 2007 the internationally recognized Hospitality Assured certification programme, 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 programme at Baobab Tower, the building which now housed the CTO headquarters in Barbados. By encouraging members of staff of the various offices to contribute $1 each month, the programme helped at-risk families, as well as the Caribbean Dyslexia Association, and collected supplies for Dominica after the passage of Hurricane Maria last year.
Throughout her battle with cancer, Bonita 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.
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.
The Council of Minister, Board of Directors, Management, Staff and the entire CTO family extend deepest condolences to her husband, Paul, her children Jonathan, Maya and Ayana, and the rest of the Morgan family, and assure them of our prayers and support.