Sandals and the Caribbean open for business
Resort group gets message out to millions worldwide in aggressive marketing thrustFriday, April 16, 2021
Sandals Resorts International says it has welcomed nearly 200 influencers, celebrities, and travel media to its resorts across the Caribbean and hosted several major radio remotes, creating close to 300 million global media impressions in what it described as “an aggressive and strategic marketing thrust” to inform the world that Sandals and the Caribbean islands are open for business.
The all-inclusive luxury resort chain has been engaged in this marketing initiative, a key component of its marketing strategy, since it reopened its first resort last June after forced closures caused by the novel coronavirus pandemic.
“So far in 2021, Sandals South Coast has hosted two radio remotes reaching approximately five million listeners and resulting in over 50 million impressions,” Sandals stated in a news release.
Radio remotes see international radio stations broadcasting live from Sandals and Beaches Resorts to their listeners back home. This element of the company's strategy began as early as September 2020 at Sandals Grande St Lucian with broadcast reaching 19 key markets in the United States.
“On the heels of these successful radio remotes, Beaches Turks and Caicos is set to host its own radio remote in May with additional remotes tentatively slated for Barbados, Grenada, and The Bahamas,” Sandals stated.
The resort group said that in addition to US radio stations, it intends to invite stations from the United Kingdom to Grenada and/or Barbados later in the year.
“Our company has always been an innovator in marketing and promotions. We're one of the most well-known hospitality brands across the world and that's due to our well-oiled marketing machinery,” the release quotes Sandals' Executive Chairman Adam Stewart.
“We've been doing radio remotes for many years and we know the reach is significant. Now, more than ever, it is important that we harness the power of these activities and our radio remotes have proven instrumental in reaching our audience and letting them know that the Caribbean is open for business,” added Stewart who is also executive chairman of the Jamaica Observer.
Explaining the company's decision to ramp up its influencer marketing campaigns, Stewart said, “The power of influencer marketing and online marketing is undeniable, especially now when our audience spend most of their time online. We have been working strategically with a number of influencers with a combined global audience of several million in addition to top-tier publications with millions of readers around the globe. As a result, the Caribbean is trending. Millions of eyes are on the region and in many of our islands where tourism is the largest economic driver, this attention is well-needed and much-appreciated.”
Sandals noted that the power of its brand has also seen the company enjoy strong organic publicity through a number of celebrities who have openly shared their positive Sandals and Beaches experiences through their social media platforms.
Stewart said that with COVID-19 vaccinations trending upwards in source markets and across the region, he is confident that the Caribbean is poised for a record comeback.
“We are already seeing our bookings increase at a steady pace and we expect hotel occupancy of 65 to 80 per cent in June and July. I am very optimistic, not just for the recovery of our own brand, but for the recovery of the region's tourism sector, all the industries that rely on tourism and, of course, for the thousands of Caribbean nationals who earn a living through tourism,” Stewart said.
To date, Sandals has reopened 15 of its resorts across the region including those in Jamaica, Antigua, St Lucia, Grenada, The Turks and Caicos Islands and Sandals Emerald Bay in The Bahamas. Its Barbados resorts are set to reopen in a few weeks.
The company said that approximately 80 per cent of its group-wide team is back at work with team members who were at reduced pay now returned to full salary and job opportunities across the region being offered to those whose resorts remain closed.
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