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Sandals executive on expansion plans: The Caribbean is ‘a really magical place’

·2 min read

Despite tough competition in the resort industry, one company is doubling down on a specific region — The Caribbean Islands.

On a recent episode of Influencers with Yahoo Finance Editor-In-Chief Andy Serwer, Sandals Resorts Executive Chairman Adam Stewart explained why his company has remained in that region instead of expanding to other parts of the world.

"We feel that the Caribbean is a really magical place," Stewart said, later adding: "Our mission is to share the best of the four corners of the Caribbean with the world."

The all-inclusive resort chain competes with many large brands including Marriott International, Club Med, and the cruise industry. At the moment, Sandals has 24 properties across eight countries: Antigua, The Bahamas, Grenada, Barbados, Jamaica, Saint Lucia, Curaçao, and Turks and Caicos.

SANTA BARBARA, CURACAO - JUNE 24: A general view during the amazing Sandals Royal Curaçao Grand Opening Weekend Celebration on June 24, 2022 in Santa Barbara, Curacao. (Photo by John Parra/Getty Images for Sandals Resorts)
A general view during the amazing Sandals Royal Curaçao Grand Opening Weekend Celebration on June 24, 2022, in Santa Barbara, Curacao. (Photo by John Parra/Getty Images for Sandals Resorts)

However, Stewart noted that Sandals stands apart from other brands thanks to its emphasis on the consumer experience.

“We fascinate and we revel in everything to do with customer experience," Stewart said. "And I think it keeps the big boys on their toes."

Sandals owns every single one of its resorts and has a repeat guest ratio of roughly 50%. The chain also boasts a group of customers called Diamond Team members that earn the status after staying in Sandals resorts for more than 100 nights.

“The baseline of the team, the culture, and the business, the 'can do' attitude to get things done — all centered around consumer experiences — is really our thing,” Stewart explained. “And our agility, our team, when you look at the people around this organization, to have worked for this company for 20 years, you're still kind of a rookie coming into it.”

According to Stewart, Sandals is actively looking to expand its footprint in the Caribbean. In addition to its new resort in the Dutch Caribbean Island of Curaçao, the chain has projects in Jamaica, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and Turks and Caicos underway.

Dylan Croll is a reporter and researcher at Yahoo Finance. Follow him on Twitter at @CrollonPatrol.

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