Sandals Resorts International has described agents as the “unsung heroes” of the coronavirus pandemic.

It came as the all-inclusive operator moved to support the trade by extending travel agent benefits.

Top booking agents who hold Chairman Royal Club membership or Sandals Specialist statuses will automatically carry their accolades through to 2021 without having to re-qualify.

The company’s Sell & Go rewards programme, where agents earn their own free nights to redeem against resort stays, has also been extended as they are currently not able to be processed.

Agents with any unused nights from 2018 can use them up until December 31, 2020, while those earned last year can be used until the end of 2021.

Any nights earned in 2020 will also be valid until December 31, 2022.

Karl Thompson, managing director of Unique Caribbean Holidays UK – Sandals UK tour operator – said: “Travel agents are some of the unsung heroes of this pandemic, many of them having spent hours taking care of clients bookings and helping them change them.

“We originally developed our travel agent programmes to support the trade and offer them exclusive benefits and we want to continue supporting them as much as we can both during and after the pandemic.

“We appreciate our travel agent partners and are thankful for everything that they have done to retain bookings and assist clients during this difficult and unprecedented time.”