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Saturday,  May 25, 2024 1:42 PM 

Velas Resorts redefining luxury all-inclusive in Mexico

Velas Resorts redefining luxury all-inclusive in Mexico
Denys Montes de Oca, senior director of sales and marketing, Velas Resorts, and Sophie Raymond, regional sales manager, Canada, Velas Resorts
Christine Hogg

Christine Hogg is the Associate Digital Editor at PAX Global Media. Prior to joining PAX, she obtained her Honours BA in Journalism from the University of Toronto. Upon graduating, she went on to write for several travel publications while travelling the world. Her longest trip was a three-week stint in Europe, and the shortest was a 16-hour adventure in Iceland. Get in touch:

Last night, Velas Resorts welcomed a small group of travel trade partners and media to the Montecito Restaurant in Toronto to enjoy an appreciation dinner, and to discuss what's to come in the new year.

As Velas Resorts continues to expand its product offerings for 2018, Denys Montes de Oca, senior director of sales and marketing and Sophie Raymond, regional sales manager, are working hard to reinforce that a luxury all-inclusive vacation in Mexico is possible, while redefining a concept that many people do not associate with a trip to this destination.

“Luxury and all-inclusive are two concepts that don’t usually go together, when it comes to booking the ultimate vacation,” Montes de Oca said.

Relationship building as a core value

A family company, Velas Resorts started 27 years ago, and much of the success lies in the staff’s commitment to establishing genuine, professional relationships in the industry.

“As far as marketing goes, we go after the trade side, and we support them 200 per cent,” Montes de Oca said. “We don’t believe in online business, because we go after the concept of a one-on-one approach; doing business with people is the most important and that’s how we stand out from the rest.”

The team from Velas Resorts visits Canada at least once a year and Mr. Velas embarked on a personal mission four years ago to visit every part of Canada to establish a stronger presence in the Canadian market. “At that time, it was only a few wholesalers selling their products, so he took the time to speak one-on-one to each of the wholesalers, CEOs, and VPs, to find a way to really make a name for the company in Canada,” Montes de Oca said. “This year for Velas Resorts is definitely a dream come true, because it’s been our best year in Canada for our properties.”

_MG_1735.JPGMembers of TPI, from left to right: Tim Morgan, vice president (Toronto), Justine Delaney, travel advisor, Morris Chia, president & CEO, and Colton Chia, partnerships/assistant to the CEO.

The company is growing, with a new property - Grand Velas Los Cabos - having just opened last December.

“The key is really to invite travel agents so they can really understand our concept and also educate them so that they can sell this upscale product, which is very important,” said Montes de Oca. “In Canada, you have this perception that all-inclusive is cheer and cheerful, those $99.99 packages. Velas Resorts is not about the price point, and at the bottom line, we’re the most expensive product line from the majority of the wholesalers. In order for the travel agents to understand, and get consumers to understand why we are expensive, they need to understand that we deliver a lot of value. We’re not competing against the regular all-inclusives, we’re competing against the EP hotels.”

EP vs. all-inc. vs. luxury all-inc.

European Plan hotels and resorts are somewhat atypical in North America and the Caribbean, as vacationers tend to enjoy the all-inclusive deals that take care of food and beverages, transportation, hotel accommodations, and even excursions. As an all-inclusive luxury property, Montes de Oca explained, Velas Resorts aims to elevate the all-inclusive experience by providing highly-personalized service, fine-dining options plus buffet options, 24-hour suite service, and most importantly, pays attention to the little details that make all the difference in attracting new guests, and transforming them into repeat visitors.

“We deliver the same type of service and food, all-suite concepts, and butler service, and it’s all included, and the clients will see the value,” Montes de Oca said. Velas Resorts tends to attract multigenerational travellers, couples planning destination weddings, and social groups who fall into the 30-60 age range. “Families with younger children have been coming more often, because we have amenities like a baby concierge, where the only thing the client needs to do is bring their baby, and we do the rest, by setting up the room with a crib, gathering the baby toys, and we even provide baby food, so parents don’t need to worry about coming from Canada to Mexico with all of the different things they need for their baby. We really go above and beyond with the small details for our travellers, and that’s what really counts.”


A strong Canadian market

Just over 70 per cent of the clientele at Velas Resorts is North American, with America providing the most visitors, followed by Canada and Mexico. “We see a 50 per cent increase year after year, and 2018 is looking very strong for us,” Montes de Oca said. “We are doing an excellent job on the marketing aspect, and everything is concentrated on the trade. We rely on word of mouth from our clients, and the percentage of repeat customers that we have at Grand Velas Resorts is 60 per cent. There’s a definite niche in the Canadian market that we are finding everyday with different groups and customers thanks to your support. Canada has a very special place in my heart.”

Guests of the Velas Resorts have the possibility to jump from one property to another within a convenient distance of one another, so that they may try out the different accommodations and amenities.

“Sometimes clients are coming four times a year to our hotels, and I think it’s a fact that service, food, and the spa carry such a strong presence. Whenever you find those three elements, and you try another all-inclusive, you don’t want to go back. You want to try the same quality and the same service, but maybe at a different property.”

There are now three Grand Velas in one of the most major beach locations in Mexico, which include Grand Velas Riviera Maya, Riviera Nayarit, and Los Cabos. There are additional Grand Velas properties in Puerto Vallarta, which represent the Casa Velas and Velas Vallarta.

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