- Allasandra Chung, affectionately called “Sandy” is a stalwart in tourism and community development.
- For more than 27 years, she has worked on projects aimed at improving the local tourism product while providing opportunities for citizens to earn, and raising funds to support national Labour Day projects.
- On National Heroes Day, October 21, Ms. Chung was awarded the Order of Distinction in the Rank of Officer (OD).
Allasandra Chung, affectionately called “Sandy” is a stalwart in tourism and community development.
For more than 27 years, she has worked on projects aimed at improving the local tourism product while providing opportunities for citizens to earn, and raising funds to support national Labour Day projects.
On National Heroes Day, October 21, Ms. Chung was awarded the Order of Distinction in the Rank of Officer (OD).
She was among 215 Jamaicans, including uniformed personnel, who were presented with National Honours and Awards by the Governor-General, His Excellency the Most Hon. Sir Patrick Allen.
Ms. Chung tells JIS News that she is “very humbled” by the national award.
She says her joy comes, not from being rewarded but by helping others to improve their livelihood.
“It is the feeling that you get when you see that your countrymen have benefited somewhat from what you have done. It is when you see that you have assisted somebody, who can now make a better livelihood; those are the things that make me feel good,” she says.
Ms. Chung worked for approximately 20 years at the Tourism Product Development Limited (TPDCo), the agency mandated by Government to facilitate the maintenance and enhancement of the tourism product.
While at TPDCo, she held various positions such as Project Manager, Executive Business Manager, Director of Product Development and Community Tourism as well as Director of Attractions Development.
Her responsibilities included coordinating the implementation, improvement and monitoring of projects in resort areas and various attractions.
Ms. Chung tells JIS News that she spearheaded work on the ‘Fi Wi Plaza’ project in Negril, which was implemented to take vendors off the streets.
“At the time, there was a mixture of craft and food vendors, and a place was made in the plaza for them to prepare food in hygienic conditions. They wore uniforms, had on the right coats and had their public health certification,” she says.
In addition, she successfully negotiated the collaboration of Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines, Jamaica National Heritage Trust (JNHT) and TPDCo in the implementation of the storyboard subproject for the restoration of historic Falmouth.
Ms. Chung, who is a strong believer in community tourism, tells JIS News that she is pleased to be associated with the completion of the Community Tourism Tool Kit, which is a business plan for community tourism enterprises.
She says that in order for tourism to be sustainable, communities must be included.
“If the community doesn’t have a stake in it, then the project is not going to be successful. Involving the community will also assist in protecting a lot of our cultural heritage assets that we have out in the various communities,” she notes.
“We have hundreds of heritage sites, and in order to protect those sites, we need that community buy-in,” she says further.
Ms. Chung, who is a Wolmer’s Girls’ School alumnus, has also served on the sponsorship subcommittee of the National Labour Day Planning Committee for more than 14 years.
In 2006, she became involved with the committee, when she was asked to represent the TPDCo at a National Labour Day planning meeting.
“They asked for persons to volunteer to be chairpersons for the different subcommittees and I volunteered to do sponsorship… [and] the amount of things that I brought in for sponsorship after that, they said they wanted me to come back,” she laughs.
She has remained with the committee throughout the years and has secured millions of dollars in cash and kind for national projects on behalf of the National Labour Day Secretariat.
“Sponsors are really very good in assisting us, and so we are very grateful for the sponsors because it shows that they are very civic-minded and good corporate citizens,” she says.
Now retired, Ms. Chung continues to offer her service to the sponsorship committee.
“Like I would tell persons, what we are doing is to benefit Jamaica, not individuals but our country, and so in terms of national development, I think that is why I continue to assist with Labour Day,” she tells JIS News.
She has also assisted the Jamaica Red Cross, Wolmer’s Girls’ Alumnae Association, the Chinese Benevolent Association and the Jamaica Rifle Association, among others.