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Monday 10th October 2011

Travel agents clown around after receiving a resort tour of Sandals Grande Antigua Resort & Spa.

Chairman of Sandals Resorts International, Hon. Gordon Butch Stewart has announced a major Mega-Fam program which will see 2,300 travel agents from key US and Canadian markets visit various Sandals operated resorts.
According to the Sandals Chairman, the marketing program is targeting resorts in St. Lucia, Antigua, The Bahamas and Turks and Caicos while exposing them to Sandals, Beaches and Grande Pineapple brands. Stewart indicated that the Meg-Fam this fall is a strong partnership with the governments of St. Lucia, Antigua and The Bahamas which have made invaluable contributions to the venture. 

“The slow recovery of economies in Europe and North America has necessitated stronger collaboration between governments and the private sector. So I want to commend the governments of St. Lucia, Antigua and Bahamas for collaborating with Sandals so effectively. They had the foresight to wave all the taxes associated with traveling to their respective destinations as an incentive for this promotion. Turks and Caicos government also contributed where they were able to. Only by working together will the travel industry in the Caribbean be able to overcome this difficult period of its history,” comments Stewart.     

He says the first group in the Sandals 2011 Megafam arrived in St. Lucia this week and is ahead of the traditional peak winter season.
The Sandals boss continued “our philosophy is that you are empowered to sell the product if you see it. Well the agents on these trips will not just see it; they will be living the Sandals, Beaches and Grande Pineapple vacation too. There is just something about when people experience what they recommend to their customers rather than a distant knowledge of the internet. This is great exposure and will certainly help to sustain the good occupancy levels we have been attaining in the islands.”  

Travel agents will also have the opportunity to earn or renew their Certified Sandals Specialist (CSS) certification while on the FAM trip, during a four-hour training course that arms participants with helpful tools to grow their business. The CSS program is the most powerful agent-supplier partnership in the industry, providing agents with an opportunity to align themselves with the world’s only Luxury Included® Resorts. The certification includes meaningful benefits for agents like marketing tips and techniques, bonus commissions, and business tools such as co-branded collateral, websites and advertising opportunities. 

During the three-day / two-night trips, agents will attend the CSS workshop, have the opportunity to tour at least three resorts on any one trip and experience the resorts’ Luxury Included® vacation as they attend exclusive hosted events.

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