Communication ‘the new luxury’, says Sandals and Beaches’ boss

Sandals and Beaches resorts are offering a new level of luxury as a result of changes made due to the Covid pandemic.

That’s the message from Sandals Resorts International’s executive chairman Adam Stewart who described the enhanced communication and connection the Caribbean resorts operator has with its customers – not just the standards in the resorts themselves – as “the new luxury”.

Speaking on a Travel Weekly webcast, he said the company had made a “fundamental decision” to take the Covid pandemic as “an opportunity to do more”.

This involved changing the way resorts operated, from moving restaurants on to the beach, reducing the number of clients on dive excursions and offering more private and bespoke experiences, but also changes in the way the company communicates with guests.

And while resorts have coped well with increased social distancing measures thanks to being designed with space in mind, Stewart attributed the step up in communications with guests over the last 18 months, as well as the changes in resort, for creating a new, improved experience.

He said: “We moved our restaurants out to the beach. We were giving private, candlelight dinners under the stars – elevating the experience as opposed to finding bottlenecks or challenges.

“So in a sense, we became more bespoke, more boutique. And communication and connection to customers has in many ways become the new luxury, beyond the quality of the rooms and the gastronomic experience.”

The speed with which the company keeps in touch with its clients and travel agent partners has also helped the brand succeed despite the challenging trading environment, he said.

He added:  “We tried, and continue to try, to demonstrate a level of agility in that communication and making sure customers and partners are never wanting for information.”

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