Five Canadians awarded at Unique Vacations global sales conference

Unique Vacations, Inc. recently held an energizing global sales conference designed to celebrate the outstanding achievements of the travel advisor community, while reinforcing its crucial role within the ecosystem of tourism for the Caribbean at large.

The first of its kind since 2019, the event was held between Sandals Dunn’s River and Sandals Ochi, and united esteemed Caribbean government officials, Sandals Resorts executives and over 200 members of Unique Vacations global sales force

The event saw speeches from notable figures, including the Hon. Edmund Bartlett, Jamaica’s Minister of Tourism, and the Hon. Carlos James, Minister of Tourism for Saint Vincent and The Grenadines. They were joined by UVI and Sandals Resorts International (SRI) executive leadership, including SRI executive chairman Adam Stewart, who addressed a captivated audience, reflecting on the brands’ foundation and its continued commitment to supporting travel advisors while sharing insights and strategic directions for the future.

Also in attendance was Carlos James, Minister of Tourism for Saint Vincent and The Grenadines, who reiterated a joint commitment to build out a tourism sector that is ‘unique and amazing’ – teasing new direct airlift coming soon – and that leverages space and opportunities for people to discover an authentic Caribbean island that is not commercialized, while finding avenues to support and empower local communities.

Sandals Saint Vincent and The Grenadines was another hot topic, with an anticipated opening date on March 27.

Record-breaking travel to Jamaica

In his address to the sales force, The Hon. Edmund Bartlett expressed his appreciation for a year of record-breaking travel in Jamaica. In 2023, Jamaica welcomed four million visitors and 10 consecutive quarters of economic growth.

“What you are doing for Jamaica means additional exposure and opportunities for our destination, which translates in effect to more arrivals and more earnings. It means more business, more jobs, and more growth,” said the Hon. Edmund Bartlett, adding that innovation and collaboration will be the driving force of ongoing success in 2024 and beyond. “Our way forward in the tourism industry is to remove this sense of competition that has characterized our process over time, and replace it with a nice new word called co-petition. We must now represent a future of co-peting with each rather than competing with each other.”

Looking ahead and building off the theme of ‘more in 2024’, Stewart highlighted upcoming innovations across the Sandals and Beaches brands. Some of these include:

  • Sandals Royal Curaçao – home to 10 new Rondoval villas debuting Feb. 1
  • Sandals Saint Vincent and The Grenadines, promising an experience immersed in mother nature, opening March 27

Celebrating Canadian excellence

Gary C. Sadler, executive vice-president of sales and industry relations at UVI, lauded travel advisors for their unwavering loyalty, recognizing the impact of the region’s most committed sales force.

“The biggest part of what we have is our travel advisors, and the most profound thing that Unique Vacations can do on behalf of Sandals Resorts is work hand in hand with these trusted colleagues day after day – because whenever the going gets tough, it is always travel advisors who are there to rescue any hotel brand there is in the world,” Sadler said.

An awards show gala was held on Jan. 6, where awards were handed out to valuable sales team members from across various regions, both on a national and global level. The sales team from Unique Vacations Canada were honoured as follows:

  • Guy Archambault – Business development manager, Montreal/Northern Quebec
    Social media award – Canada
  • Robert Smith – Business development manager, Eastern Ontario 
    Outstanding sales achievement – Canada
  • Teresa Villanueva – inside sales manager  
    Outstanding team player – Canada
  • Sandra Brousseau – business development manager, Quebec (East & Central) and Atlantic Canada 
    BDM of the year – Canada  

Winston Chang, business development manager, B.C., Saskatchewan & The Yukon was honoured on global level and was named winner of the Global Award of Excellence.