Sandals is to launch the Sandals Agent of the Year competition in conjunction with Travel Weekly.


The competition will give agents the chance to win a holiday for two at the new Sandals Emerald Bay resort in the Bahamas. About 300 agents will be invited to attend one of seven UK heats where they will be tested on their knowledge of the company in a game show-style quiz.


Agents will compete in groups of three, with the winning teams being invited to a semi-final in Birmingham to play as individuals.The grand final will be held in the Caribbean.


The winner will be treated to a two-week holiday for two, including flights to the Bahamas and  VIP treatment. Runner-up prizes are to be confirmed.


Sandals managing director Karl Thompson said: “We are changing our traditional roadshow proposition to provide a fun and competitive event for agents. ”


Thompson is also hoping the Caribbean Tourism Organization and airlines will get involved.


Emerald Bay, which the hotel group bought from Four Seasons last year, will open at the end of January following a refurbishment that includes
a new pool complex and additional dining areas. The all-suite resort has 183 rooms, including beachfront villas and bay houses, an 18-hole golf course and a 17-acre marina.


Meanwhile, Thompson said family bookings were picking up, particularly at Beaches Turks and Caicos. “We are seeing an upturn in family bookings and people are will to book further ahead than they were last year. We are seeing the fruits of our marketing efforts that we undertook with agents during the launch of the Italian Village at Turks and Caicos.”


Thompson said the company also plans to build another Royal Plantation in Jamaica.