Saturday, December 12, 2009

Sandals Antigua Excursions and tours



Recently Sandals decided to farm out their tour desks in all of their resorts to a Company called Island Routes. This new company is spending huge amounts of money to market their tours online and within their hotels. They are telling all of the tour companies that we will see a huge jump in our sales within Sandals owned resorts as well as outside. They are selling online to anyone. There has been quite a bit of talk about the implications of this among tour companies. Sandals can be very aggressive with their business practices. The new company has already started making big changes within the hotels across the Caribbean. One of their policy changes may be pushing Adventure Antigua out as well. We have until December 31st to make changes to the way we do business if we want to remain being sold at the Sandals Grand Resort and Spa or at the all inclusive Grand Pineapple Beach Hotel. For nine weeks we have been feverishly working on making these changes but they are not completed yet.

We are currently trying to work with them on a solution, and Adam Stewart, CEO of Sandals and top boss at Island Routes, has given us assurances that he want's us all to work together.

If we don't make the adjustments in time (dec 31st) and do get kicked out of their tour desk this will be a surprise to me. We will still keep collecting guests from the beach as we have always done. Even if you are staying at Sandals or Grand Pineapple Beach you will be able to book what was once their top selling tours if you go directly to our site:

We have a new Eco Tour and a new Xtreme Round the island video coming soon to youtube the websites, twitter and the blogs. I am sure people will post them on http://www.antiguaforums.com/ and tripadvisor too. Isn't the internet a savior for small business?! With or without Island Routes we will continue to provide the best trips to people coming to Antigua as well as those coming to the Sandals chain of resorts.

2 comments:

michaelS said...

Adam Stuart has his own tour company and is not allowing any local, Antiguan, tour reps to sell tours in his two hotels, Sandals and Pineapple so he has the exclusivity. As the owner of a small Antiguan tour rep company called Alexander Parrish, I am totally against this. And I think I can say the same for all the other small, Antiguan tour rep companies. We have always had access to our guests in the hotels and have been able to sell them island tours, until Sandals came along. Now Pineapple ! The commission from these tours helps to defray the costs of our employees/tour reps and also the costs of the overseas tour operators program in Antigua. And, we are not in the hotels just to sell tours. Our other mission is to ensure that the guests of the TO we work for, are infomed about our island, satisfied with their accomodation, and enjoy all that Antigua has to offer. I have no problem with Adam starting a tour company, but is it right to make it exclusive in his hotels ? What if all the hotels did the same ? And, I'm not sure how this would sit with the overseas tour operators, who through a commission revenue sharing contract with some of us, use this revenue to help defray some of costs of their program to the destination.

robby said...

i have had very negative experiences with sandals as a wedding photographer merely attempting to meet with sandals guests. this move is not surprising to me and must be countered with a united voice. sandals - though large - does not operate in a vacuum. most people who visit antigua would not look favourably on sandals if they knew to what lengths sandals goes to thwart local business operators.