Inside Sandals’ 2024 Global Sales Conference

Unique Vacations, Inc. (UVI) inaugurated 2024 as “The Year of More” at its Global Sales Conference, designed to celebrate the achievements of the travel advisor community and reinforce its role within the ecosystem of tourism for the Caribbean at large.

The first of its kind since 2019, the event was held between Sandals Dunn’s River and Sandals Ochi. Caribbean government officials, Sandals Resorts executives and over 200 members of Unique Vacations' global sales force met for a weekend of reflection, strategic alignment and building momentum in the direction of selling the destination.

Following an evening of welcome cocktails and a dinner at Sandals Dunn’s River, a future-focused business session unfolded at Sandals Ochi on January 5, with a series of speeches from notable figures, including Edmund Bartlett, Jamaica's minister of tourism, and Carlos James, minister of tourism for Saint Vincent and The Grenadines. They were joined by UVI and Sandals Resorts International (SRI) executive leadership, including SRI Executive Chairman Adam Stewart, who reflected on the brands’ foundation and its continued commitment to supporting travel advisors while sharing insights and strategic directions for the future.

In his address to the sales force, Bartlett expressed his appreciation for a year of record-breaking travel in Jamaica—4 million visitor arrivals in a single year (2023) and 10 consecutive quarters of economic growth, reducing the island’s debt to GDP from 149 percent to 74 percent.

2024 Global Sales Conference at Sandals Dunn’s RIver and Sandals Ochi
Attendees at the Global Sales Conference 2024  (Sandals Resorts International)

In true Caribbean comradeship, Carlos James, minister of tourism for Saint Vincent and The Grenadines, traveled to Ocho Rios to attend the conference, where much of the buzz and focus was on Sandals Saint Vincent and The Grenadines, opening on March 27. Bringing forward the ‘soul’ of his island home and its alignment with Sandals, James reiterated a joint commitment to build out a tourism sector that is "unique and amazing"—teasing new direct airlift coming soon—and that leverages space and opportunities for people to discover a Caribbean island that is not commercialized and finding avenues to support and empower local communities.

Looking ahead and building off the theme of "more in 2024," Stewart highlighted upcoming innovations across the Sandals and Beaches brands, honing on the design, service and accommodation innovations across the portfolio, including Sandals Royal Curaçao—home to 10 new Rondoval villas debuting February 1—and the upcoming Sandals Saint Vincent and The Grenadines, promising an experience immersed in mother nature, “raw and uncut,” with more features, amenities and "Sandals Firsts" than anywhere else.

An award show gala was held the night of January 6, where awards were handed out to sales team members from across global regions. Notable recognitions include Yasmine Davis, who was named BDM of the Year for the United States, and Gail Stephenson, UVI director of sales operations, who was recognized as the Chairman’s Award Winner of 2024. A private event at the Rio Chico villa capped off the Global Sales Conference 2024 with the event coming to a close on Monday, January 8, 2023.

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