Sandals Resorts International is opening its first-ever resort in St Vincent and the Grenadines.
The company is opening a new Beaches resort, the first in the Eastern Caribbean, Caribbean Journal has learned.
The property will be a transformation of the former Buccament Bay Resort and Spa, which had been shuttered since 2016.
It will be “completely transformed” to become the fourth Beaches-branded resort in the wider Caribbean, joining properties in Jamaica and Turks and Caicos.
“Investing in St Vincent and its captivating people was not only compelling, but a natural next step for continued expansion within the Eastern Caribbean. Beginning with our first entry in Saint Lucia many years ago and more recently Grenada and Barbados, we are champions of growth for the Eastern Caribbean, and it has remained at the forefront of our expansion strategy,” said Gordon “Butch” Stewart, founder and chairman of Sandals Resorts International. “Expanding into a brand-new destination ushers in the tremendous opportunity for new and existing team members to experience a whole new way of life and professional growth path. The minute our customers land in St. Vincent, they will be enchanted with its magnificence. The resort hugs the Caribbean Sea and is nestled within a lush mountain range and neighboring rainforest. Best of all, it’s only a short drive from the newly constructed Argyle International Airport.”
The agreement had been in the works for nearly a year, according to the company.
“The resort will undergo extensive reimagination and renovations,” said Adam Stewart, Deputy Chairman of Sandals Resorts International. “Each time we expand, we bring with us the full potential of our 40 years in hospitality with the creation of new jobs and skillsets through our Corporate University, the on-the-ground work of our Sandals Foundation, the dedicated airlift and comprehensive global marketing campaigns that always follow. As we look to the future, this growth stands for tremendous possibility.”
The entry of Sandals to the market represents in many ways a validation of St Vincent and the Grenadines’ airport strategy.
St Vincent and the Grenadines opened its first-ever international airport in 2017, hoping to attract full-fledged tourism development — and now the country finally has its first major-flag resort property.
And the entry of Sandals will likely spur far more airlift development, given recent history.
When Sandals entered Grenada in 2014, for example, it helped spur a dramatic increase in the island’s airlift — with a large, major-branded resort giving confidence to carriers that they could fill the seats on their planes.
That, in turn, could be a boon for broader tourism development in St Vincent.