Led by executive chairman, Adam Stewart, and chief executive, Gebhard Rainer, members of the Sandals Resorts International (SRI) executive committee have toured the Dominican Republic.
The group met with government officials, including president Luis Rodolfo Abinader Corona.
The exploratory visit was at the personal invitation of Angie Shakira Martínez Tejera, ambassador of the Dominican Republic in Jamaica.
Tejera, together with the ministry of foreign affairs in the Dominican Republic and in partnership with executive director of ProDominicana, Biviana Riveiro, were instrumental in coordinating and designing the agenda to showcase the different destinations and to discover tourism investment opportunities.
During the two-day visit, the SRI team visited various areas of the island including Punta Cana, Miches and Las Terrenas, among others.
Although Stewart and other SRI executives had been to the Dominican Republic previously, this marked the first official visit by the Jamaica-based luxury all-inclusive resort company to the destination.
“We thoroughly enjoyed our brief but fruitful time in the Dominican Republic and wish to thank our hosts, especially president Abinader.
“When leadership at the highest levels makes time to discuss the power of tourism and investment opportunities that expand its reach, we know we’ve found a like-minded partner,” said Stewart.
According to Martínez, plans for the visit had been underway for some time, and were of great importance to the Dominican Republic.
“Like Jamaica, where Sandals hails from, the Dominican Republic is a revered Caribbean tourism destination and the [tourism] industry is critically important to our economy.
“It is a dream of ours to have the very prestigious Sandals brand present here.
“We are honoured by the visit and excited by the possibility of our island nation becoming the first Spanish Caribbean territory to welcome the Sandals organisation,” said Martínez.
Sandals Resorts International is in the midst of a multi-year expansion and innovation plan, aimed at strengthening tourism’s return to the Caribbean region.
Earlier this year, SRI reopened Sandals Royal Bahamian in Nassau, Bahamas, and will soon unveil its first property in Curaçao.
Three new resorts are planned for Jamaica, and, in 2023, SRI will unveil a new resort under their Beaches Resorts brand in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.