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Wednesday, June 23, 2021

Sandals’ Huge Jamaica Growth Shows Caribbean Journey Confidence

Sandals Resorts Worldwide (SRI)’s $230 million plan to broaden its appreciable all-inclusive resort holdings throughout Jamaica, made official in a Might 26 groundbreaking ceremony, represents a powerful vote of confidence for the nation and Caribbean tourism following the pandemic-driven journey shutdown.

Adam Stewart, SRI’s govt chairman, launched particulars of the plan on the ceremony, at which he introduced the Sandals Dunn’s River challenge, which incorporates the re-development of the Sandals Dunn’s River resort property and the development of an adjoining Sandals Royal Dunn’s River resort.

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Stewart mentioned SRI can be launching a $250 million renovation of its new Seashores Runaway Bay Resort in Ocho Rios. On the ceremony, he referred to as the sweeping resort initiative a “dedication to [SRI’s] wider enlargement plans in its residence nation.”

Edmund Bartlett, Jamaica’s tourism minister, added SRI “has been one of many key gamers in Jamaica’s tourism sector for a few years, and we’re happy they are going to be increasing their presence within the vacation spot.”

Bartlett added, “The acquisition and growth of three new [SRI] properties in Ocho Rios is one more instance of the numerous investments we’re seeing in Jamaica that can improve our tourism infrastructure, improve our choices and finally job alternatives for our staff.”

Stewart mentioned SRI officers banked on the Caribbean’s inherent pure magnificence and interesting cultures as a dependable draw for guests popping out of the pandemic. He famous SRI by no means halted its nationwide tv promoting because the pandemic progressed.

“This illustrates the arrogance we’ve at all times had as a household within the Caribbean,” he mentioned Wednesday in an interview with TravelPulse. “When Sandals reveals that confidence it sends a really sturdy sign to traders within the area.” He mentioned the Jamaica challenge will create 2,100 development jobs at Sandals Dunn’s River and 1,300 everlasting resort positions.

“Sandals was the primary resort chain to re-open in Jamaica and contained in the Caribbean in virtually each island we’ve resorts aside from the Bahamas,” Stewart mentioned. “We’ve introduced extra workers again to work and extra vacationers again to the Caribbean than some other journey firm,” he mentioned.


Sandals Dunn's River
Sandals will spend $230 million to redevelop the Sandals Dunn’s River Resort. (Courtesy of Sandals Resorts Worldwide)

“At Dunn’s River we purchased the resort for $30 million, and all-in there will likely be $230 million of growth. That provides you a sign of the form of transformation we’re planning,” Stewart mentioned. “With the Sandals Dunn’s River and Sandals Royal Dunn’s River aspect by aspect, there will likely be nothing prefer it in Jamaica. We’re within the course of once more of taking the corporate to the following degree.”

In the meantime, SRI can be increasing its footprint throughout Caribbean locations. “We’re within the midst of a change at Sandals Royal Bahamian in Nassau, a $37 million renovation,” mentioned Stewart.

“We begin development in two weeks in Curacao for opening in 2022 and proper behind that we begin development in St. Vincent for opening in Q1 2023,” Stewart mentioned. “So for those who take the three lodges in Jamaica, the Royal Bahamian, Curacao and St. Vincent, the corporate is growing six lodges on the similar time.”

Stewart mentioned future reserving developments present that not solely is 2022 trying to be a powerful yr by way of Caribbean customer progress, however fall bookings, historically weak for generations, are stronger for 2021 than at any time in his firm’s historical past.


The arrival lobby of Beaches Runaway Bay
The arrival foyer of Seashores Runaway Bay. (photograph through Sandals Resorts)

“We’ve grown up in a era of those that like to journey,” Stewart mentioned. “There have been many issues to return out of COVID good and dangerous, however one of many good for positive is it reminded us how necessary journey is and leisure journey specifically.”

The loss of life earlier this yr of his pioneering father has not halted the imaginative and prescient they shared, Stewart mentioned. “Even when my dad was with us, we had been making resolution on transferring ahead. Reasonably than going right into a lockdown, we utilized the time to actually re-think every part and take into account what the following era of Sandals resorts would seem like.”

He added, “My dad can be smiling down immediately as a result of this was a lot part of the time we spent so throughout the pandemic working collectively [and] fascinated with this resort and what we had been going to do.”

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