|Cancun, Mexico // Photo by Freeimages.com/Lisa Christine Tam|
As part of Travel Agent's recent coverage of the Caribbean Hotel Association's (CHTA) Caribbean Travel Marketplace event in Nassau, Paradise Islands, The Bahamas, we learned that popular tour operator Island Routes Caribbean Adventures will be expanding its operations to Cancun and St. Kitts, says David Shields, general manager.
Cancun is especially interesting since Island Routes is owned by Sandals Resorts International CEO Adam Stewart. Stewart already told us Sandals will be expanding to the Riviera Maya, Mexico, with groundbreaking expected to begin by the end of the year.
Anyone familiar with the very popular Jamaica-based all-inclusive company knows that where there is a Sandals Resort, a Beaches Resort is never too far away. During this weekend's coverage, Travel Agent heard from a lot of industry experts who think that Sandals will follow up its Riviera Maya announcement with news that it will open a Beaches Cancun. And although it hasn't been confirmed, news that Island Routes is expanding to Cancun will only add to the speculation.
Also, agents should keep an eye on St. Kitts. Island Routes, for the most part, only has operations where there is either a Sandals or Beaches. There is currently neither a Sandals or a Beaches in St. Kitts, yet Island Routes will be expanding there as well. Perhaps Sandals is considering expanding to that destination too?