Led by Executive Chairman Adam Stewart and CEO Gebhard Rainer, members of the Sandals Resorts International (SRI) Executive Committee toured the Dominican Republic, meeting with government officials including being received by His Excellency Luis Rodolfo Abinader Corona, President of the Dominican Republic.
The exploratory visit was at the personal invitation of Her Excellency Angie Shakira Martínez Tejera, Ambassador of the Dominican Republic in Jamaica, who, together with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the Dominican Republic and in partnership with Executive Director of ProDominicana, Biviana Riveiro, were instrumental in coordinating and designing the agenda to showcase the different destinations and to discover tourism investment opportunities.
During the 2-day visit, the SRI team visited various areas of the island including Punta Cana, Miches and Las Terrenas, among others. Although Stewart and other SRI executives had been to the Dominican Republic previously, this marked the first official visit by the Jamaica-based luxury all-inclusive resort company to the destination.
“We thoroughly enjoyed our brief but fruitful time in the Dominican Republic and wish to thank our hosts, especially President Abinader. When leadership at the highest levels makes time to discuss the power of tourism and investment opportunities that expand its reach, we know we’ve found a like-minded partner,” said Stewart.
According to Ambassador Martínez, plans for the visit had been underway for some time, and were of great importance to the Dominican Republic. “Like Jamaica, where Sandals hails from, the Dominican Republic is a revered Caribbean tourism destination and the [tourism] industry is critically important to our economy. It is a dream of ours to have the very prestigious Sandals brand present here. We are honoured by the visit and excited by the possibility of our island nation becoming the first Spanish Caribbean territory to welcome the Sandals organisation,” said Ambassador Martínez.
Sandals Resorts International is in the midst of a multi-year expansion and innovation plan aimed at strengthening tourism’s return to the Caribbean region. Earlier this year, SRI reopened Sandals Royal Bahamian in Nassau, Bahamas, and will soon unveil its first property in Curaçao on 1 June. Three new resorts are planned for Jamaica, and, in 2023, SRI will unveil a new resort under their Beaches Resorts brand in St Vincent and the Grenadines. Announced late last year, SRI’s investment of nearly US$200 million will result in 3,000 Caribbean-based jobs, reaffirming the company’s role as a leader and driver of tourism and economic growth across the region, and aligning with plans to double the size of the SRI portfolio in the next decade.
During their visit to the Dominican Republic, the delegation also greeted the Dominican Minister of Foreign Affairs, His Excellency Roberto Álvarez, and had an informative meeting with the Director-General of the Public-Private Partnership of the Dominican Republic, Dr Sigmund Freund.
“This was an excellent visit at a time when we are pursuing expansion goals aggressively. We look forward to the possibility of what’s to come,” said Stewart.
About Sandals Resorts International
Founded in 1981 by the late Jamaican entrepreneur Gordon “Butch” Stewart, Sandals Resorts International (SRI) is the parent company of some of travel’s most recognisable vacation brands. The company operates 24 properties throughout the Caribbean under 4 separate brands including: Sandals® Resorts, the Luxury Included® brand for adult couples with locations in Jamaica, Antigua, the Bahamas, Grenada, Barbados, St Lucia and a resort opening in Curaçao; Beaches® Resorts, the Luxury Included® concept designed for everyone but especially families, with properties in Turks & Caicos and Jamaica, and another opening in St Vincent and the Grenadines; private island Fowl Cay Resort; and the private homes of Your Jamaican Villas. The company’s importance in the Caribbean basin, where tourism is the number one earner of foreign capital, cannot be underestimated. Family-owned and operated, Sandals Resorts International is the largest private employer in the region.