Sandals and Beaches Resorts has declared 2024 as “The Year of More,” which served as the theme of the company’s global sales conference in Jamaica recently.
Organized by Unique Vacations, Inc. (UVI), the brand’s sales and marketing arm, the event – the first since 2019 – was held between Sandals Dunn’s River and Sandals Ochi and celebrated the achievements of travel advisors and reinforced their role within Caribbean tourism
Following an evening of welcome cocktails and dinner at Sandals Dunn’s River, a future-focused business session unfolded at Sandals Ochi on Jan. 5 with a series of inspiring speeches from notable figures, including The Hon. Edmund Bartlett, Jamaica's Minister of Tourism, and The Hon. Carlos James, Minister of Tourism for Saint Vincent and The Grenadines.
They were joined by UVI and Sandals Resorts International (SRI) executive leadership, including SRI Executive Chairman Adam Stewart, who reflecting on the brands’ foundation and its continued commitment to supporting travel advisors while sharing his vision for the future.
“We sit here today on 42 years of legacy – 42 years of a clear runway of opportunity to be the company that is the game changer to rewrite the future history books of what Caribbean tourism is going to look like, and that is what Sandals 2.0 reflects and represents,” said Stewart. “We are committed every day to you and your craft – to doing things that are monumentally bigger than Sandals. This is an ecosystem of Caribbean tourism that only triumphs if we function together as one.”
Minister Bartlett expressed his appreciation for a year of record-breaking travel in Jamaica – four million visitor arrivals in a single year (2023) and 10 consecutive quarters of economic growth, reducing the island’s debt to GDP from 149% to 74% – manifesting “more visitors, more revenue and more love in 2024.”
Minister James of Saint Vincent and The Grenadines travelled to Ocho Rios to attend the conference, where much of the buzz and focus was on Sandals Saint Vincent and The Grenadines, opening on March 27.
He reiterated a joint commitment to build out a tourism sector that is “unique and amazing’ – teasing new direct airlift coming soon – and that leverages space and opportunities for people to discover an authentic Caribbean island that is not commercialized, while finding ways to empower locals.
“Sandals is a perfect match for our island – maintaining the authentic richness of the Caribbean vibe, food, entertainment, and cultural heritage. We're preserving all of that and sharing it with guests,” he said.
2024 & beyond
Stewart highlighted upcoming innovations across the Sandals and Beaches brands, honing in on the design, service, and accommodation innovations across the portfolio, including Sandals Royal Curaçao – home to 10 new Rondoval villas debuting Feb. 1 – and the upcoming Sandals Saint Vincent and The Grenadines, promising an experience immersed in mother nature, “raw and uncut,” with more Sandals Firsts than anywhere else.
“Everything that we are doing as hoteliers is in the relentless pursuit of finding the best of the best in this part of the world,” said Stewart. “No place on God’s planet is more interesting, more enticing, more relaxing, more soulful, or more charming than this archipelago. It is our job, together, to connect the dots to get the travelers of the world to choose us – to choose the Caribbean.”
A priceless partnership
Gary C. Sadler, executive VP of sales and industry relations at UVI, lauded travel advisors for their unwavering loyalty.
“The biggest part of what we have is our travel advisors, and the most profound thing that Unique Vacations can do on behalf of Sandals Resorts is work hand in hand with these trusted colleagues day after day – because whenever the going gets tough, it is always travel advisors who are there to rescue any hotel brand there is in the world,” Sadler said.
In true Sandals fashion, a dazzling award-show gala brimming with local flair kicked off the night of Jan. 6, where awards were handed out to sales team members.
The following individuals from Canada were honoured:
- Guy Archambault – BDM, Montreal/Northern Quebec - Social Media Award – Canada
- Robert Smith – BDM, Eastern Ontario - Outstanding Sales Achievement – Canada
- Teresa Villanueva – Inside Sales Manager - Outstanding Team Player – Canada
- Sandra Brousseau – BDM, Quebec (East & Central) and Atlantic Canada - BDM of The Year – Canada
- Winston Chang, BDM, BC, Saskatchewan & The Yukon - honoured on global level, winner of the Global Award of Excellence.
A private event at the Rio Chico villa capped off the Global Sales Conference 2024 with the event concluding on Jan. 8.