In what has been the most devastating year ever for the travel and tourism sector, Sandals Resorts International (SRI) has, once more, shown its mettle — and has not only walked through the fires of the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic with its head held high, but also continues to leave sparks of light wherever it goes.
The company has been recognized as the World’s Leading All-Inclusive Company for the 25th consecutive year at the 27th annual World Travel Awards Grand Final.
The prestigious award was one of four accolades secured by the Jamaican-owned resort brand, solidifying its position as an industry trailblazer in the all-inclusive space.
Beaches Resorts, the company’s all-inclusive for Families and Couples, was also recognised as the World’s Leading All-Inclusive Family Resort Brand 2020 — and for the 23rd consecutive year.
What makes this even more impressive is that it has all been achieved when the prospects for tourism and travel have been the most dismal ever.
However, Sandals Resorts has met the challenges head-on and has been instrumental in the resurrection of the tourism sector in many of the Caribbean destinations where it is located.
This has been possible by the introduction of its highly-acclaimed Sandals Platinum Protocols of Cleanliness – a system that has redefined the approach to health and hygiene practices, and one that has become a standard for many other hotels throughout the world to follow.
The company operates three resorts in Saint Lucia, two of which are open at present; Sandals Grande Saint Lucia and Sandals Regency La Toc.
It’s no stretch, therefore, to say that this is arguably Sandals’ finest win — and one that should be applauded by all and sundry.
The VOICE also sought and got responses from the leadership at the region’s top hotel chain.
Sandals Founder and Chairman Gordon ‘Butch’ Stewart responded to the win by saying, “We are beyond humbled to be recognized as the world’s leading all-inclusive company by the World Travel Awards for 25 consecutive years. Despite the challenges faced by the travel industry over the course of 2020, these awards are a testament to the brand’s resilience and to the team’s continued dedication to ensuring Sandals Resorts is a brand that customers can always trust.’
Deputy Chairman of Sandals Adam Stewart recognized the unique challenges that his company faced in 2020 in a post on his Instagram account.
“This is an unbelievable award in such a complicated and difficult year, but I wanted to reassure all of you that we will continue to innovate and pioneer and to tell you how happy and pleased we are to have received this award tonight.”
Managing Director of Sandals Resorts Saint Lucia Winston Anderson said while there continues to be numerous challenges for the sector, Sandals remains committed to supporting the communities where it operates, since it understands very clearly the significance of tourism to the recuperation of the region.
“In Saint Lucia alone, tourism’s contribution to GDP is almost 65%.
“Aside from the tens of thousands of people who are directly employed in the hotel sector, many thousands more depend on the linkages created with the sector to survive; taxi drivers, fishermen and farmers, entertainers and tour operators, craftsmen and women and I can go on.
“This award is therefore so special for us this year, and reaffirms all the hard work we are doing. We will always do our part to ensure that Saint Lucia remains strong.”
Meantime Sandals Grenada was named World’s Leading All-Inclusive Resort 2020 and was also recognized as Grenada’s Best Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions (MICE) Hotel 2020 by the World MICE Awards, the World Travel Awards’ sister event.
Sandals’ sister company, Island Routes Caribbean Adventures, was also recognized by the World Travel Awards as the World’s Leading Caribbean Attraction Company for the 10th year. Island Routes offers guests off-property experiences that truly immerse them in the local culture and beauty of the islands.
The World Travel Awards were established in 1993 for the sole purpose of acknowledging and celebrating achievements in all areas of the world’s travel and tourism industry.
Today, the World Travel Awards brand is recognized globally as the ultimate hallmark of quality, with winners setting the benchmark to which all others aspire.