Sandals Resorts in Saint Lucia and across the Caribbean are in marketing overdrive with the company’s most senior executives literally hitting the ground in North America promoting the warmth of the islands and the uniqueness of each destination.
General Managers Michael James from Sandals Regency LaToc Golf Resort & Spa and Christopher Elliott of Sandals Halcyon Beach Resort are among the top officials making presentations, which highlighted Saint Lucia to over 450 travel agents and partners in Canada earlier this week.
The marketing push is dubbed SANDALS OVERDRIVE: Powered by Travel Agents Fueled by Vision and was held at the Sheraton Toronto Airport Hotel & Conference Centre.
Sandals Chairman the Hon. Gordon ‘Butch’ Stewart was in attendance, along with the company’s Deputy Chairman and CEO Mr. Adam Stewart.
The unveilings are meant to provide a unique opportunity for agents to meet Sandals executives, while also discovering more about the latest updates to the resort company’s portfolio. The show has visited 21 cities, and covered over 31,000 kilometers in a Sandals branded 18-wheeler.
Beginning with a small tradeshow-type format, the event was packed with agents who were fully engaged with Sandals representatives and participating partners, including leading tour operators like Air Canada Vacations and WestJet Vacations. Also present were tourism representatives from each of the seven islands on which Sandals has resorts – Antigua & Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Grenada, Jamaica, Saint Lucia, and Turks & Caicos.
Dunstan James, Director of Marketing for the Canada for St. Lucia Tourism Authority, said “Sandals Resorts has done an incredible job of developing their brand; both brand recognition and brand awareness.”
He went on to note that, “with St. Lucia being a destination featuring Sandals, we have also exposed Saint Lucia to new niche markets by the very fact of our Sandals affiliation.”
Over the past 12 months Sandals has increased its Saint Lucia offerings with the addition of the Sandals Saint Lucia Golf and Country Club, and has announced that a fourth property, Sandals LaSource Saint Lucia, will soon be developed.
The resort chain has also taken steps to amplify its existing facilities with the addition of the much talked about Over the Water Bungalows and Over the Water Wedding Chapel at Sandals Grande Saint Lucian Spa & Beach Resort as well as the significant upgrades at its boutique Sandals Halcyon Beach Resort and the Sandals Regency LaToc Golf Resort & Spa.
Managing Director of Air Canada Vacations, Nino Montagnese, described Sandals as family telling Travel Pulse Canada, “Air Canada Vacations has had a very strong partnership with Sandals and Beaches since I’ve been in the industry and I’ve been in the industry over 28 years. We work together to make it happen. [They are] doing a fantastic job of not only demonstrating the passion within their organisation, but that they’ve truly transformed all their resorts. What we’re seeing is phenomenal. When they talk Overdrive, it’s more like Overdrive on steroids. They have done a tremendous job and I’m proud to be partnered with them and I’m looking forward to Overdriving our sales to Sandals and Beaches.”
Air Canada Vacations is probably the only tour operator in Canada that has flights to every Sandals destination.
“So when they build a resort, we put a plane in, and that’s pretty well known in the industry. As a key partner, we’re going to support them. They build, We fly,” the Managing Director declared.