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Wednesday,  June 12, 2024 11:25 AM 

Sandals lauds advisors at STAR Awards – see the Canadian winners here

  • Hotels
  •   05-23-2024  10:37 am
  •   Pax Global Media

Sandals lauds advisors at STAR Awards – see the Canadian winners here
Gary Sadler addresses Travel Advisors during the Sandals and Beaches Business Review Session at the 19th Annual STAR Awards. (Supplied)
Pax Global Media

Applause enveloped nearly 400 travel advisors and their companions as they attended an  weeklong celebration at Sandals’ new island home in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

This year marked the 19th edition of the Sandals Travel Advisor Recognition (STAR) Awards. As esteemed guests, travel advisors from Canada, United States, United Kingdom and Latin America descended on the mystic shores of Buccament Bay, where the new Sandals Saint Vincent and the Grenadines gave way to a dynamic itinerary of continued learning, team building, community engagement, celebration and plenty of rest and relaxation under the Vincentian sun.

Sandals Resorts International Executive Chairman, Adam Stewart, captured the sentiment of the week addressing attending travel advisors: “We’ve always put our money on the horse that is the travel advisor community. This goes as far back as 1981 — when my father started this company. The best bet in the world is to bet on the most powerful distribution means in the entire tourism ecosystem – and that’s hands down, Travel Advisors." 

SRI Executive Chairman Adam Stewart; and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines’ Minister of Tourism, the Honourable Carlos James at the 2024 Sandals STAR Awards. (Supplied)

"We continue to hold this true. The travel advisor community built this company and we love you, we love you, we love you. We will continue to forge ahead in every way we can – working with airlines, governments, taxi associations and travel distribution companies – with a team of people who believe in us and relentlessly believe in the Caribbean.”

The centerpiece of the event was the STAR Awards Ceremony, where top-performing travel advisors from around the globe were recognized for their contribution to Caribbean tourism as a whole. 

Her Excellency Susan Dougan, Governor General of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, was among the presenters, with categories spanning Best of the Best, Million Dollar Club, Rising STARs, Chairman’s Royal Club, Top Sandals Travel Agency, Top Beaches Travel Agency, Top Club Sandals, Top Butler Elite, Top Weddings Travel Advisors, Worldwide Contribution to the Sandals Foundation, Top Island Routes Travel Advisor, Outstanding Achievement in Social Media and more.

Educational sessions underscored Sandals’ commitment to supporting and enhancing the professional growth of travel advisors, including a “Social Media Marketing & Destination Wedding Forum” that shared new strategies and tools to enhance Advisors’ online presence, along with new trends and celebration packages. 

A “Sandals and Beaches Business Review Session” set the stage for impactful remarks from SRI Executive Chairman, Adam Stewart, who delved into the brand’s undeniable history with the Travel Advisor community.

On-site experiences partner Island Routes invited travel advisors to adventure through the island’s lush rainforests, sail along the pristine coastline, and venture into the vibrant downtown area of Kingstown. Other attendees learned about the Sandals Foundation’s partnership with Hand2Earth and Grow In Time’s Vetiver Craft Project, which offers a second chance through rehabilitation and re-socializing training programs. 

Evenings were spent swaying to the beat of talented artists from the Caribbean for vibrant cultural celebrations throughout – from lively oceanfront parties under the stars to a wedding showcase cocktail hour – creating opportunities for networking while immersing Advisors in the festive spirit of the Caribbean. 

Dine-arounds also invited attendees to connect over local Vincentian cuisine at new culinary concepts like Buccan – a large-format dining experience inspired by local cooking traditions – and Scrimshaw, a tribute to the island’s bounty on land and in the water.

Throughout the weekend, tourism leaders joined together to speak to advisors and reinforce their important role within the tourism infrastructure.

The Honourable Carlos James, Minister of Tourism for Saint Vincent and the Grenadines delivered poignant words about the destination: What’s important about this destination? It's one of the last Caribbean destinations which is largely untouched. We are big on environmental sustainability, conservation, and preserving our nature. We want to limit the carbon footprint and that's essential.”

Gary Sadler, Executive Vice President of Sales and Industry Relations for Unique Vacations Inc, said: “We have always recognized that travel advisors are the heartbeat of our industry. We not only express our sincerest gratitude for their unwavering commitment today, but every day. We are here to prove to the industry that we are serious about our relationship with the travel advisor community – and there is no other hotel company throughout the Caribbean that has such a brilliant and true commitment to you like Sandals Resorts International.”

2024 Canadian STAR Awards Winners are:

Top Sandals Travel Agency – Canada

Travel Time by Trevello

Top Beaches Travel Agency – Canada

The Travel Agent Next Door

Top Host Travel Agency – Canada

Trevello Travel Group

Rising Stars – Canada

  • Tourcan Vacations, Inc – Toronto, ON
  • Voyages le Village Hudson – Hudson, QC 
  • Laurier Du Vallon – Ste-Foy, QC 
  • Verona Travel – Bradford, ON 

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