Sandals and Beaches Resorts has reported a significant increase in 2021 bookings during the last week.
The Caribbean specialist said sales for its resorts in Antigua, Barbados, Grenada, Jamaica, St Lucia, The Bahamas and Turks & Caicos were now “incredibly strong” for late 2021 as well as 2022.
Karl Thompson, managing director of Unique Vacations UK, which represents Sandals Resorts in the UK, said: “Most new bookings and booking amends over the last few months have been made for 2022 travel dates but in the last week there has been a significant increase in bookings for July to December 2021.”
He added: “Although it’s clear that there are many challenges that need to be overcome before the travel industry can fully recover, we’re delighted to see a strong future order book for 2021 and 2022.”
The recent shift in bookings to 2021 follows the government’s recent traffic light announcement, although none of the company’s Caribbean destinations are on the green list.
Thompson attributed the rise to consumer confidence in the company’s brand, which is 40 years old this year, and its health and cleanliness protocols.
Sandals and Beaches Resorts’ UK tour operator Unique Caribbean Holidays already has 2023 flight inclusive packages on sale and will soon launch holidays for 2024.
The operator said sales from homeworkers have risen, with 39% of sales coming from homeworkers for January to April this year compared with 32% for the whole of 2020 and 25% for 2019. Sales from homeworkers have increased by 63% overall for the operator over the last two years.
Thompson said: “We’re extremely grateful for the support of all of our trade partners during the pandemic but it is safe to say that without homeworkers we wouldn’t be in the fortunate position we’re in now.”
He added: “Some of our agents have been working from home for over a year now and have helped us retain around 80% of existing bookings and managed to bring new bookings in, even in the darkest of times.”
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