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 Jamiaca Shows 30 Top Travel Industry Leaders First-hand
the Excellent Condition of Jamaica’s Tourism
Product after the Storm

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Montego Bay, Jamaica  (September 28, 2004) – Sandals and Beaches Resorts Chairman, Gordon “Butch” Stewart, hosted a venerable list of 30 top travel industry leaders from around the world, including travel agents, tour operators and international media this past week to review various locales following Hurricane Ivan.  The consensus: Jamaica is ready for business and stronger than ever! 

During the two-day tour of Jamaica, members of the delegation were briefed on upcoming expansion plans by the Sangster International Airport Authority in Montego Bay, toured Sandals and Beaches Resorts’ properties in Montego Bay, Ocho Rios and Negril, and met with both private and public sector leaders including a private lunch at Villa Rio Chico hosted by Gordon “Butch” Stewart and Jamaica’s Minister of Tourism and Industry, Aloun Assamba. 

“The bottom line was that Jamaica was spared a direct hit from Hurricane Ivan,” said Gordon “Butch” Stewart, Chairman of Sandals and Beaches Resorts.  “It became an immediate and top priority for us to show first-hand the excellent condition of Jamaica’s tourism product after the storm,” said Stewart.  I am so pleased with the feedback we have been receiving from our partners. The message we are hearing loud and clear is that our suppliers are able to sell our product with complete confidence and offer an outstanding vacation experience.”

“After visiting many of the Sandals Resorts, I feel the hotels are able to service the guests and give them the experience they are looking for in Jamaica,” said Thomas Meier, Executive Vice President Private Label Brands for Mark Travel Corporation. 

“My first hand tour of Sandals Resorts in Montego Bay and Ocho Rios convinced me that Jamaica is definitely ‘open for business’,” said Celeste Allen, President of Certified Vacations.

“I can tell clients I was there and saw Jamaica for myself,” said Barry Posner, Travel Agent/Owner of Ultra Honeymoons and Vacations. “You won’t even know Ivan was nearby from looking at Sandals and Beaches Resorts.”

These travel industry professionals joined a host of others including representatives from Travel Impressions, Classic Custom Vacations, Air Jamaica Vacations, Travel Agent Magazine, Recommend Magazine, TravelAge West, Jax Fax Magazine, Bride’s Magazine and The Sunday Times. 

Among the resorts toured were Sandals Grande Ocho Rios Beach & Villa Resort, which currently is undergoing a US$10 million refurbishment of its villas and Manor House. Still on target to open in December, the resort will total 110 acres featuring 529 rooms and suites, 90 pools and 11 gourmet specialty restaurants.  Stewart reported that Sandals Whitehouse European Village & Spa, located on Jamaica’s South Coast, will also open on schedule in February 2005. Guests stayed at the luxurious Royal Plantation Ocho Rios, Jamaica, which recently received prestigious accolades as the first resort in Jamaica to become a member of The Leading Small Hotels of the World.

Sandals and Beaches Resorts in Jamaica sustained mainly superficial damage.  All three resorts in Montego Bay and the four in Ocho Rios are nearing full-guest capacity since Hurricane Ivan. Beaches Negril Resort & Spa will re-open on October 1st, followed by Beaches Sandy Bay Beach Resort on October 28th and Sandals Negril Beach Resort & Spa on November 18th, 2004. 

Sandals Resorts International is the largest operator of luxury, ultra-inclusive resorts in the Caribbean overseeing Sandals Resorts, Beaches Resorts and Royal Plantation Ocho Rios, Jamaica.  Sandals Resorts has a total of 12 couples-only properties, including seven in Jamaica, three in St. Lucia, one in Antigua and one in Nassau, Bahamas. Beaches Resorts, is the ultimate family getaway, with four locations on the Caribbean's best beaches in Jamaica and Turks and Caicos. Royal Plantation Ocho Rios, Jamaica, is a stylish and luxurious British Colonial-inspired 77-suite hideaway for adults 18 years of age and older.


 
Contact:
Sandals Resorts
www.sandals.com
Also See: Sandals Resorts Merging Two Properties to Create Sandals Grande Ocho Rios Beach & Villa Resort / April 2004
Sandals Resorts Expanding the Sandals Antigua Resort & Spa at Estimated cost of US$25 million / November 2003
After Ivan Cleanup, Jamaica Good as New, If Not Better, for the Peak Winter Season / September 2004


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