Sandals and Beaches Resorts’ twin-centre bookings are at an all-time high after a 12% year-on-year rise in sales in 2019.
Karl Thompson, managing director of its UK tour operation Unique Caribbean Holidays Ltd, predicts the rise will continue in 2020.
He said the most popular twin-centre itineraries booked through Unique Caribbean Holidays are Exuma and Nassau, both in the Bahamas; Grenada and Barbados, Antigua and St Lucia, Antigua and Barbados.
Thompson said: “We have seen a great uptake in our twin-centre itineraries over the last 12 months which we attribute to customers wanting to get more out of their hard-earned holiday.
“Visiting two countries on one trip can enable customers to experience the best out of two destinations on the same trip and tick off bucket list activities like swimming with the pigs in Exuma or going dolphin and whale watching in St Lucia.”
Sales of Sandals Extras, bookable add-ons such as tours and excursions, spa treatments and airport transfers launched in 2018, rocketed by 47% in 2019.
The most popular Sandals Extra were VIP luxury helicopter transfers from and to the airport in St Lucia.
“The fact that a lot of our UK customers are booking these high-end transfers, means people are still prioritising booking their well-deserved holidays, despite the uncertainty of the last 12 months with Brexit and a general election,” said Thompson. “This is a positive trend that we believe, and hope, will continue.”
Packages account for approximately 85% of Sandals and Beaches’ UK bookings made via the tour operator, and more than 50% of these are booked with premium or business class flights, Thompson revealed.
Weddings also remain key for Sandals Resorts, with 40% of business classed as ‘romantic’, so involving a wedding, proposal, retie the knot ceremony or honeymoon.
That rate is on par with the previous year, but more British customers are booking Over the Water wedding chapels, which come at an extra cost.
More guests are also using the Red Lane Spa facilities at each resort. Thompson added: “Even at an all-inclusive resort, unlimited food and drink doesn’t mean that you have to over-indulge. We have a lot of healthy options available to guests at our restaurants as well as complimentary fitness centres and classes like aquarobics and yoga on the beach. The saunas, steam rooms and plunge pools at our spas are also free for any guest to come and make use of during their stay, they don’t necessarily need to book a treatment.”
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