Nashauna Drummond, Lifestyle Coordinator
On July 29, Myrtle Dwyer received a call from the Office of the Prime Minster. On October 17, she will be among scores of Jamaicans honoured for service to the country in the national awards ceremony.
With more than 36 years in the business, Dwyer will be awarded with an Order of Distinction in the rank of officer (OD) for her contribution to the Jamaican hospitality and tourism industry.
There is no doubt that the hospitality industry runs in Dwyer's veins. As she told Flair, "This honour came as a surprise as I have always felt it was necessary to work hard and constructively seek at all times to lend a hand where possible. There is a deep sense of accomplishment and gratitude that I feel in reflecting on this award."
A few months ago, Dwyer 'retired' as director of sales and marketing for the Half Moon Resort in Montego Bay to concentrate on her company, Glamour Destination Management, which she formed as Glamour Tours in 1987. "I feel proud and ecstatic to be fully integrated in the company that I played a pivotal role in forming along with my partners. I am even more proud of the fact that it is a dynamic company which is on an upward move. It feels different in that there are many more facets to destination management which requires you to work with many more vendors for support services. The positive is that I am still in my role in sales and marketing," notes the fearless businesswoman of the new facet of her career.
Decades in tourism
Reflecting on her decades in tourism, she concedes that the industry has changed drastically in many ways. "For one, there were very few women employed at a managerial level in the '70s, and there really were no institutions of higher learning geared towards this industry. There has also been rapid growth and expansion globally, leading to intense competition, and a lot more strategic marketing is now required and strong customer relationship management to maintain market share. People have many choices, so the delivery of service is of paramount importance."
But despite all that, there is no need to worry about the industry she loves. "The future looks bright for Jamaica's tourism industry, as the product is diverse and of good quality in general. The management of our image is important to our stability, and all stakeholders must play their part in facilitating and maintaining growth."