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Could Sandals Expand Outside of the Caribbean by 2024?



As part of our recent coverage of the fifth annual “Social Media on the Sand” event at Beaches Turks & Caicos Resort Villages & Spa, Adam Stewart, deputy chairman of Sandals Resorts International, told TravelPulse that Sandals Resorts could expand outside of the Caribbean in the next five years.

When asked if Sandals planned on “making a splash” like other all-inclusive companies have by announcing an expansion to Europe or lesser-known Central and South American destinations, he said not to expect something that drastic, but a move out of the Caribbean could be expected.

“I wouldn’t expect us to make a splash like that, but we will continue to keep making splashes in the Caribbean,” said Stewart, “and you can see us making our first splash out of the Caribbean in the next five years.”

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Stewart would not give any further details.

The last time Sandals flirted with expanding outside of the Caribbean was in 2016 when the company announced plans to expand to Mexico. Stewart told TravelPulse that resort was slated to be near the Mayakoba hotel district, which is home to some big-name hotels such as the Andaza Mayakoba, the Banyan Tree Mayakoba, the Fairmont Mayakoba and the Rosewood Mayakoba.

During our recent interview, Stewart told TravelPulse that Sandals ultimately decided to put those plans on the shelf indefinitely because the location didn’t make sense for the company in the long run.

“We, as a company, are more focused on an exclusive environment,” said Stewart. “We don’t want to be a part of some group of hotels all located together. We have no problems being near competitors. We welcome being near competitors, but we just want to be somewhere that makes more sense as a company. We want to be exclusive.”

As far as expansions within the Caribbean goes, Stewart told TravelPulse and the nearly 100 professional parent bloggers in attendance for the first morning of the Social Media on the Sand event, to “expect 2020 to be a big year of expansions for Beaches Resorts.”

He later told TravelPulse to expect at least three expansion announcements by Beaches Resorts in 2020. He said they will all involve locations that currently house a Sandals Resorts International property. He did, however, also mention that Beaches has its eyes on three new Caribbean islands as well.

But wherever Sandals and Beaches’ new homes will be, don’t expect them to have casinos.

Beaches Turks & Caicos Resort Villages and Spa. (Photo by Joe Pike)

After years of mulling over the possibility, Stewart told TravelPulse there will be no plans to ever add a casino at a Sandals or Beaches Resorts property. Sandals has had casino licenses in the Bahamas and Turks and Caicos and were once eyeing a property for a potential casino in Antigua, but Stewart said it just didn’t feel like the right fit.

“We’ve thought about it for years at several islands, but it just never seems to make sense for our brands,” he told TravelPulse. “We attract the crowd who likes events and socializing, and casinos can get in the way of that.”

New Campaign and Brochure

Dubbed, “How We Earn Our Stars,” Sandals Resorts International recently launched a new marketing campaign to highlight the all-inclusive company’s offerings across all Caribbean islands.

As part of that campaign, the company also recently launched its annual digital brochure, which breaks down everything from room categories to restaurants to spa offerings across all Sandals and Beaches products. Stewart told us that both the campaign and brochure are to remind clients that the combination of “luxury” and “all-inclusive” is not an uncommon feature at Sandals’ properties.

Social Media on the Sand

During our coverage of the recently-concluded “Social Media on the Sand” event at Beaches Turks & Caicos Resort Villages and Spa, the mostly female bosses in attendance spent the duration of the show learning modern-day marketing secrets from some of the world’s brightest business entrepreneurs.

Daymond John
“Shark Tank” celebrity Daymond John addresses attendees of the fifth annual “Social Media on the Sand” event at Beaches Turks & Caicos Resort Villages and Spa. (Photo by Joe Pike)

The event gave attendees a first-hand look at how to sharpen their social media skills, grow their online presence and get inspired by other talented like-minded women.

The highlight of the event, however, was a Q&A with ”Shark Tank” star, Daymond John. Agents can even use that as a selling point as name-dropping celebrities who have recently visited hotels has been known to secure bookings.

And it doesn’t hurt when a celebrity like John praises the resort.

“This is one of the best family hotels I’ve seen’” John told TravelPulse. “I walked in and thought this was the best all-inclusive I’ve seen. I’ve been to Turks three times now. I don’t want to mention the other resorts [out of respect to Beaches Resorts], but I always had a great time here.”

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