SAN­DALS LEAD­ING THE CHARGE IN TOURISM & CON­STRUC­TION WITH ROYAL BAR­BA­DOS & LASOURCE ST LU­CIA

The Star (St. Lucia) - - LOCAL -

San­dals Re­sorts in the Eastern Caribbean con­tin­ues to lead the charge in the com­pany's un­par­al­leled thrust to make avail­able world-class re­sorts for vis­i­tors to the re­gion. Build­ing upon its al­ready es­tab­lished track record as the ‘World's Best', and the re­cently copped top spots in the USA To­day 10 Best list of ho­tels, it is lit­er­ally chang­ing the ex­pec­ta­tions of Caribbean tourism and hospitality.

The re­sort chain, which has been in Saint Lu­cia since the early 1990s, plans – by the end of 2017 – to take lux­ury to a whole new level in the Eastern Caribbean. In March San­dals will open phase one of its new over-the-water bun­ga­lows in Saint Lu­cia, mark­ing the start of the an­tic­i­pated San­dals LaSource St. Lu­cia. At the same time it will be wind­ing up con­struc­tion of its lat­est gem – San­dals Royal Bar­ba­dos – in Novem­ber.

The fa­cil­i­ties are both poised to be the envy of the in­dus­try, boast­ing lux­ury fea­tures never seen be­fore, with the global hospitality in­dus­try bristling with an­tic­i­pa­tion.

Reaf­firm­ing its pres­ence in the Caribbean, in 2016 San­dals played a key role in con­tribut­ing to ris­ing tourist ar­rivals in the is­lands of Bar­ba­dos and Saint Lu­cia, with the for­mer achiev­ing its high­est ar­rival fig­ures yet – host­ing an es­ti­mated 630,000 long-stay vis­i­tors. This was a marked im­prove­ment from the al­ready record num­bers of 2015. Gre­nada, too, recorded an out­stand­ing 2016 with yet an­other record stay-over vis­i­tor ar­rival.

For Bar­ba­dos, San­dals has been a ma­jor fac­tor in boost­ing its tourism econ­omy which con­trib­utes to more than 36 per­cent of the is­land's GDP. That spells good news for Saint Lu­cia, be­cause even though it has not yet been com­pleted, Bar­ba­dos is al­ready reap­ing the re­wards of the eco­nomic spinoff that has been gen­er­ated by the con­struc­tion of the sec­ond re­sort there. Tipped to cost a stag­ger­ing US$160 mil­lion upon com­ple­tion, the re­sort will be San­dals' largest ever in­vest­ment in a sin­gle prop­erty, and prom­ises to fea­ture mind­blow­ing in­clu­sions for guests and over-the-top in­no­va­tions that have never been seen be­fore in the all-in­clu­sive in­dus­try.

As con­struc­tion con­tin­ues, the link­ages be­ing de­vel­oped have led to im­me­di­ate ben­e­fits for lo­cal sup­pli­ers. This boom will be mir­rored in Saint Lu­cia with these link­ages grow­ing con­sid­er­able in both ter­ri­to­ries upon com­ple­tion.

San­dals re­cently cel­e­brated its sec­ond an­niver­sary in Bar­ba­dos, and in those two short years the ‘World's Best' all-in­clu­sive re­sort has al­ready left a sig­nif­i­cant eco­nomic foot­print which ac­counts for over US$40 mil­lion (BDS$80mil­lion) in taxes, salaries, lo­cal pur­chases and other link­ages. San­dals Royal Bar­ba­dos will not only more than dou­ble the re­sort's con­tri­bu­tion to the lo­cal econ­omy, it will fur­ther po­si­tion Bar­ba­dos, as it con­tin­ues to do in Saint Lu­cia, as a unique des­ti­na­tion for vis­i­tors from North Amer­ica and Europe.

San­dals is lead­ing an am­bi­tious ex­pan­sion thrust through­out the re­gion.

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