The Impact of Sandals' Expansion to the Riviera Maya

Riviera Maya, Mexico // Photo by Freeimages.com/Leonel Suriano

After more than a decade of speculation, Sandals Resorts International will officially be expanding to Mexico.

Travel Agent chatted with Adam Stewart, CEO of Sandals, and learned that the Jamaica-based company will be expanding out of the Caribbean for the first time in the form of a Sandals resort in the Riviera Maya.

Stewart told us he expects ground to break by the end of the year. It will be a new build. When asked if it would be in Playa del Carmen, Stewart told us it would be "further north."

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This was the first time Stewart shared specifics on the expansion following his father's recent announcement at the 14th Annual Sandals Travel Agency Recognition (S.T.A.R.) awards on December 4 at Sandals Whitehouse European Village & Spa in Jamaica. It was at that show that Gordon "Butch" Stewart, Sandals Resorts International chairman, told attendees that Mexico was the future.

There is also heavy speculation that Sandals will follow that development up with a Beaches Resort in Cancun. Travel Agent, however, was unable to confirm or deny this by press time.

We also learned that popular tour operator Island Routes Caribbean Adventures will be expanding its operations to Cancun and St. Kitts, says David Shields, general manager.

And although it hasn't been confirmed, news that Island Routes is expanding to Cancun will only add to the Beaches Cancun speculation

Visit www.travelagentcentral.com for more updates on this story and be sure to follow Travel Agent's Joe Pike on Twitter @TravelPike.

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