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Adam Stewart unveils Sandals 2.0 at the ASTA conference
#TheBahamas, September 14, 2022 – Calling tourism “the biggest industry in the world”, the Executive Chairman of Sandals today outlined a future marked by evolution and innovation to keep the Caribbean’s best-known hotel chain at the cutting edge of technology and remain the regional leader in the hotel industry.
Adam Stewart, Executive Chairman of Sandals, unveiled a new vision called Sandals 2.0 as he addressed nearly 500 travel agents and advisors from the United States, Canada and the Caribbean at a meeting of the ASTA, their trade association, at Sandals Royal Bahamian in Nassau, Bahamas.
Recalling the exact moment in March 2020 when he got the call that COVID was stopping global travel, Stewart said “it was like the sky was falling.”
“I was sitting at home on the beach in Jamaica and looking out to my left,” he said, describing the magic that makes the Caribbean so desirable. “The sky has never been so blue, the water has never been so clear, the sand has never been so white, the view has never been so beautiful and the word resilience came to mind. the mind.” Never for a moment, he continued, did he buy into the “false narrative” that travel would not bounce back. “We had a team of 15,000 people looking at us and saying, ‘Now what?’ We have shifted into high gear to sustain the wider Caribbean tourism ecosystem and that of Sandals Resorts International. Not only would we be ready, but we would be the first.
Stewart told an elated audience that the Sandals team spent the downtime further improving their plans.
What they couldn’t have foreseen was the sudden and untimely death of Sandals founder Gordon ‘Butch’ Stewart in January 2021. The younger Stewart, who had spent his youth and career working for the business and to learn from his father, took the lead , and he took the opportunity today to express what others in the room felt: immeasurable respect and admiration for the man who imagined Sandals and took it from a simple hotel to the most well-known brand in the region.
“For the 29e year in a row, Sandals has won the World Travel Awards,” he announced, crediting his late father with creating “the only superbrand to come out of the Caribbean.”
“There’s a reset going on in Caribbean travel,” he said. “There is more natural beauty in this area than anywhere else in the world and we want to share it all with our customers.
“We don’t want what the trip once was like,” he said. “We want to take him where he can go. We want it to wow you.
Under the Sandals 2.0 umbrella, plans include going through each resort and seeing how it can be improved, upgraded, what new elements can be included.
“Over the next two years, with the opening of new properties in St Vincent and Dunn’s River in Jamaica, we will not only be improving our offerings, but we will also be adding approximately 3,000 staff at all levels,” he said. -he declares.
In Nassau, Phase 1 of Sandals Royal Bahamian is complete with further improvements to the property on target. Sandals Royal Curacao will be the first of the brand to take the all-inclusive concept to the next frontier with guests at certain levels being offered a Mini convertible and certificates to dine on the island at outdoor restaurants, an experience that will be offered to Sandals Royal Bahamian in Nassau next.
This next frontier for all-inclusive tradition is part of Stewart’s cultural immersion plan, understanding that guests want sun, sea, sand, but they also want to know the people and the islands they visit.
In Jamaica, Sandals Dunn’s River and Beaches (family brand) Runaway Bay will be expanded with 3 and 4 bedroom suites, as well as a property in St Vincent. Also to be added is a Greg Norman golf course for Beaches Runaway Bay. Additionally, some properties will offer overwater bungalows.
Stewart expressed his deep gratitude and respect for the travel advisors’ love affair with the Caribbean and told them that Sandals would not be where it is today without their support and that he, like his late father who knew and depended on their trust for four decades, is committed to sharing the four corners of the Caribbean with the world.
Photo caption: Sandals Executive Chairman Adam Stewart announced the Caribbean and Bahamas expansion plans during the ASTA 2022 showcase at the Sandals Royal Bahamian this week. Nearly 500 industry partners gave Stewart a spontaneous and rousing standing ovation following his remarks.