Sandals stick in the Caribbean – NationNews Barbados – nationnews.com

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Sandals Resorts International Executive Chairman Adam Stewart (FILE)

It has an all-inclusive brand known beyond the Caribbean, but Sandals has no immediate plans to build any of its resorts outside the region.

Sandals Resorts International executive chairman Adam Stewart said while he wouldn’t rule out such a move in the future, his company has more room for growth in its home base.

Stewart said so in response to questions from Yahoo Finance editor Andy Serwer during a recent edition of the weekly Influencers interview series.

Serwer asked, “Have you considered expanding outside of the Caribbean, or are you going to keep your footprint here in this part of the world?”

The Sandals boss replied, “There is no doubt that the brand is quite big. We have an unprecedented 84% brand recognition in North America in this all-inclusive space. The truth is, never say never, but for the foreseeable future there is so much going on in the Caribbean.

Stewart said Sandals, which operates two hotels in Christ Church and had previously announced plans for a third in St Peter, still had “more to conquer in the Caribbean”.

“We have three new resorts in Jamaica, where we are today, under construction. We have just opened a resort called Sandals Royal Curacao on the Dutch island of Curacao. Fascinating country, amazing resort,” he said.

“We are under construction in the Turks and Caicos Islands. We are under construction in St Vincent and the Grenadines. And this list is growing day by day.

He added: So we think the Caribbean is a really magical place. My father always said that the almighty spent a little more time in the Caribbean when he created the world. And we fundamentally believe in it.

Sandals stick to the Caribbean
Barbados sandals. (Internet image.)

The executive chairman also said Sandals was confident it would continue to successfully compete against the so-called “big boys” of international hospitality, including well-funded brands from Europe and the United States.

“Yeah, absolutely. I mean, I think the word would be “agility”. So the fact that we know our space, our playground, is the four corners of the Caribbean,” he said.

“Our mission is to share the best of the four corners of the Caribbean with the world. And our agility, our team, when you look at the people around this organization, I mean, having worked for this company for 20 years, you’re still kind of a beginner.

He continued, “So the core of the team, the culture and the business, the ‘can do’ attitude to get things done, all centered around consumer experiences, is really our thing. We… own each of our resorts, which is very abnormal in the hospitality industry.

“It allows us to invest more quickly. This allows us to have a more intimate relationship with our customers. This clientele now represents approximately 50% of our business base, which means that our repeat client rate is approximately 50%.

“[Before the interview] I was talking to some of what we call our diamond team members…these particular customers have over 500 paid nights at our resorts. So for us, we fascinate and revel in everything related to the customer experience. And I think that keeps the big boys on their toes,” he said. (CS)

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