NEW YORK -- Tourism pioneer and former Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB) executive Marcella Martinez died July 11 in New York. She was 64.

Martinez, Jamaican by birth, recently was honored by the Jamaica Tourist Board, which unveiled an award in her name to be presented annually for achievement in the design and implementation of successful programs to strengthen and support a Caribbean destination's marketing efforts.

Paul Pennicook, Jamaica's director of tourism, said the first recipient will be honored at the Caribbean Tourism Organization's Allied Members Award luncheon during Caribbean Week 2005.

For her contributions to Jamaica's tourism industry, Jamaica's Gov. General Sir Howard Cooke conferred upon Martinez the Order of Distinction in the rank of Commander in a special ceremony held this spring in Jamaica.

Martinez headed the public relations and marketing firm, Marcella Martinez Associates, in New York since 1988 and had a long roster of past and present Caribbean clients. Earlier, she served as JTB's director of public relations and assistant director of tourism during the 1970s, worked in the areas of international relations and tourism marketing and served as a United Nations delegate, a teacher and a broadcaster.

A memorial service will be held at 10:30 a.m. July 17 at St. Thomas More Cathlic Church, 65 E. 89th St. in New York.

To contact reporter Gay Nagle Myers, send e-mail to [email protected].

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