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Saint Lucia Sandals Soon to get a Guyana sister!

By VOICE Reporter

Saint Lucia’s four resident Sandals properties will soon have a brand-new sister in another part of the Caribbean that will offer guests a totally new and different regional experience that’ll be available nowhere else.

Sandals Resorts International (SRI) is already the Caribbean’s premiere luxury hotels brand, with more resorts across the region and employing more Caribbean citizens than any other; now it’s well on the way to establishing another unbeatable record: the Caribbean and South America’s – indeed the world’s — first ‘Amazonia Sandals’.

The welcome announcement was made by Guyana’s President Dr Irfaan Ali last weekend, saying that with extensive transformation already taking place in Guyana’s hospitality sector, government is eyeing “novel, profit-making ventures that will sustainably exploit Guyana’s natural beauty and capitalize on new partnerships.”

Addressing the Georgetown Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI) annual awards presentation and gala ceremony at the Mariott Hotel, the Guyana leader said, “While people hear of Sandals promoting its resorts across Caribbean islands with blue waters and white beaches, Guyana also has something unique to offer – and that tourism product is poised to become a massive income-earner.

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“We have blue and black water white sands and silica – and the greatest eco-tourism product to complement it — the Amazon experience, which is perfect for a novel Amazonia Sandals resort.

The president said the Amazonia Sandals, apart from attracting Guyanese, Caribbean, American and Latin American guests seeking a slice of Guyana’s new tourism product, will also attract European arrivals after British Airways (BA) starts direct flights between London and Georgetown in the first quarter of 2023.

He based his expectations for a large number of transatlantic visitors from Europe on the fact that “The UK is the largest market for Guyana’s eco-tourism” and “this venture will surely entice them…”

President Ali said Guyana also expects to attract large numbers of Caribbean visitors in the years ahead, as it will be hosting the Caribbean Premiere League (CPL) for the next three years, while “many other new and exciting tourism products are also being developed…”

The president has always held that Guyana’s vibrant Oil & Gas sector has brought a higher level of visibility for the country and insists it’s revenues will help make tourism and other sectors more competitive through “tourism projects that are sustainable, long-lasting and impactful.”

That much is true two just over years after the president’s ruling People’s Progressive Party and its CIVIC alliance partner (PPP-CIVIC) took office in August 2020, following a five-month election impasse that had seen the former APNU-AFC coalition alliance try to remain in office after losing the March 13 poll that year.

Today, his government is also planning a brand-new US $11 million Hospitality Training Institute and there are currently eight new hotels under construction that will add another 1,300 rooms to the vast country’s burgeoning tourism sector.

Meanwhile, construction of the Amazonia Sandals will be another feather in the cap for SRI’s Chairman and CEO Adam Stewart, who’s steered the Caribbean’s Number One Luxury Resort brand chain to higher heights and wider breadth across the region, including construction of the first Sandals resort in the Dutch-speaking Caribbean in Curacao and starting another new resort in St. Vincent & The Grenadines.

Adam Stewart has also reiterated an earlier promise that SRI will provide ‘5,000 Caribbean jobs in five years’, to ensure the region lives the dreams he acquired and inherited from his father, the late Gordon ‘Butch’ Stewart, the second anniversary of whose untimely death in the USA will be observed early in January 2023.

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