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Tourism industry says goodbye to a champion

Gercine Carter

Tourism industry says goodbye to a champion
Pall-bearers taking Robert “Jeff” Kinch’s casket out of the chapel of Coral Ridge Memorial Gardens yesterday. Inset, Jeff Kinch. (Picture by Jameel Springer)

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Barbados’ tourism industry has lost a champion with the passing of hotelier Robert “Jeff” Kinch.

This sentiment expressed by a colleague of the late stalwart was evident from the turnout of hoteliers and representatives of other sectors of the tourism industry who paid their final respects at Kinch’s funeral service in the chapel at Coral Ridge Memorial Gardens yesterday.

Executive director of Intimate Hotels of Barbados, Devina Layne, credited the late Dover Beach Hotel owner with being in the vanguard of the creation of the Intimate Hotels of Barbados, a grouping he was largely instrumental in forming in 2000 “to provide a voice to the small, indigenously-owned properties on the island”.

In the tribute on behalf of the group, Layne said: “In forming the secretariat 20 years ago, he sought to create a platform to provide greater opportunities for small hoteliers, thereby encouraging more participation of locals in this key segment of the economy.” She added that Kinch held the key positions of deputy chairman and chairman for ten years.

“It takes vision, confidence and strong business acumen to take the plunge into the hospitality industry in Barbados and build an operation from the ground up. But that is exactly what Mr Kinch did when he opened Dover Beach Hotel. His effective management skills, depth of knowledge and invaluable contribution to his country also earned him the respect of his hospitality industry colleagues,” Layne said. (GC)

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