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From left: Travel Advisors Carlie Finch, Robert and Kira Solomon, Heather Tate and Alicia Rampy. 
From left: Travel Advisors Carlie Finch, Robert and Kira Solomon, Heather Tate and Alicia Rampy. 
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MONTEGO BAY, Jamaica — Sandals Resorts held its annual Star Awards at its resort in St. Vincent, bringing 361 travel advisors from North America, Latin and Central America and Europe to experience, many for the very first time, these sparkling jewels of the Caribbean. 

Travel Advisors were not only feted on resort but were also taken on tours throughout the island, giving them a first-hand view of what the destination has to offer. 

Carlie Finch, of Nashville in the United States, owns two travel agencies — the Sand Lady and To Travel Anywhere — and described the new Sandals destination as “amazing”.

She said that it would be at the top of the list of vacation spots she will be offering her clients.

“To be honest with you, I had never been here before, and I don’t really like to sell destinations until I’ve travelled to them myself. But now that I’ve been here, I’m going to sell it like crazy,’ a press release quoted Finch as saying. 

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Finch also shared her thoughts on the new Saint Vincent resort, billed as Sandals 2.0; the next generation of Sandals hotels.

“Words can’t describe, photos can’t even do it justice, totally different to any other Sandals and I’ve personally been to every Sandals resort. This one may very well be my new favourite,” Finch said.  

Heather Tate, who owns Whimsical Destinations in Mississippi, also fell in love with the new destination. She, too, had not been to St. Vincent and the Grenadines before.

She said she did not really give much thought to the country as a destination “until Sandals introduced it to the world”, the release said. 

She identified the warmth of the people as what stood out to her the most.

“Being from Mississippi, we’re from the hospitality state, and in the first few hours I could tell that this was a kindred spirit to where I am from,” the release quoted Tate as saying. 

“The people here, really make it such a beautiful experience, the Minister of Tourism Carlos James said that there was a heartbeat and a soul here, and he put into words just how I really felt.” 

Tate had no doubts her clients were going to love the new destination and resort.

“I want them to experience places that have not been overly commercialised, and I think my clients are really going to resonate with this place.”

It was also a first-time trip to SVG for couple Kira and Robert Solomon who own the My Paradise Planner travel agency in Florida.

Kira said it would not be their last visit.

“I told all my clients stop what you’re doing right now and add this island to your travel bucket list. I truly had no knowledge of what a beautiful island this was so had Sandals not built here I probably would have overlooked it entirely. I’m so glad that we didn’t because it’s an absolute gem.”

Kira said the resort has  “staying power”.

“This one is going to be the top resort I think for us, the service is incredible, the food is impeccable, I’m running out of ways to explain it to people.” 

They said the move by Sandals to bring so many travel agents to experience the island first-hand was a game-changer. 

“We’re already selling, I mean I got back to my room the other night and already had four bookings. When they see us here they trust our knowledge and our feedback, and when we tell them this is it, they will believe it.”

For Alicia Rampy, the owner of the Two Pineapples in Paradise agency in Dallas,  Texas, this was one of the most strikingly beautiful Caribbean destinations she had ever laid eyes on, a destination that would have gone unnoticed if Sandals had not brought it to her attention.

“I knew about St. Vincent and the Grenadines but I had never done any research on it, but now seeing how beautiful it is, I am shocked that it is not a hotspot for vacationers, honeymooners and destination weddings because it’s gorgeous, absolutely gorgeous.” 

Rampy anticipates a major boost to the island’s tourism sector now that Sandals has opened its doors there.

“Sandals is such a household name all over the world, and because of that where Sandals goes, people go, and if Sandals hadn’t been here I probably would have never come to St. Vincent and the Grenadines. It’s going to be amazing for the island.” 

Rampy assured that Sandals Saint Vincent and the Grenadines is on the top of her list of places to sell, the press release said.

2 replies on “Sandals Resorts dazzles travel advisors with St. Vincent gem”

  1. How can this place be open?? I and many others still hold the deeds of ownership of apartments and villas…… crazy and corruption

  2. Well, Andy, it is open legally and there’s nothing you can do about it. Why now? Didn’t you know it was on the verge of opening? Prove to me as a Vincentian there’s “corruption”. Show me the proof. I’m all eyes.

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