Sandals keeps giving agents MORE

More than a 1,000 travel agents from across Canada gathered in Toronto yesterday to participate in Sandals Resorts International’s (SRI) “More Quality Inclusions” conference and trade show, eager to learn more about SRI’s products and programs, but also how to make money selling those products and programs. Retailers listened raptly to presentations by Sandals’ Chairman, the honourable Gordon “Butch” Stewart; its CEO Adam Stewart; its senior vice-president of sales, Gary Sadler; the president of Unique Vacations’ Kevin Froemming; they were entertained with music and a fashion show; attended workshop sessions on Sandals new Your Wedding, Your Style program; Groups; How to Sell; and Dining; and wrapped things up with a dinner featuring both entertainment and prizes. Throughout the day, Sandals message was crystal clear: it keeps investing — to the tune of about $200 million of late — in its product not only because it wants to be number one, but also to give travel agents a “bullet-proof” product to sell — because agents are Sandals chosen method of distribution – in the past, present and future. As for Canada, well, as Sandals’ Chairman put it: “We’ve made out well in Canada — almost like bandits.” He reported that the Canadian market continues to grow, pointing out that in 2009, Sandals saw its business out of Canada grow by 40% and in the following years, this market posted 20% growth in each year following, including in 2012. Company CEO Adam Stewart pointed out that Sandals has been successful for the simple reason that it wants to be number one and in order to achieve that goal, you have to work harder, be smarter and “never be afraid to try new things.” The CEO observed: “We’re number 1 because we want to be number 1. We re-invest every dollar back into the company” and the competition can’t do this. For more on Sandals’ 2012 “More Quality Inclusions” conference and trade show in Toronto check out Canadian Travel Press.