saint vincent
Sandals' new resort in Saint Vincent.

In Saint Vincent, a Sandals-Fueled Tourism Boom 

By: Caribbean Journal Staff - June 30, 2024

We’ve called it the Sandals Effect. When Sandals goes into a destination, big things usually happen in the airlift sector. 

It’s happened before — in destinations like Grenada, when the island welcomed its first Sandals back in 2013, a significant increase in airlift quickly followed. 

Fast forward to 2022, when Sandals opened its first resort on the Dutch Caribbean island of Curacao — and in just one month, the island set its all-time monthly record for American tourist arrivals. In fact, Curacao is breaking its all-time tourism records this year, too. 

That’s already been the case in Saint Vincent, where Sandals this spring debuted its brand-new Sandals Saint Vincent resort. 

curacao all-inclusive saint lucia
The new Sandals Royal Curacao is the island’s most exciting resort.

Airlift to the island between September 2023 and what’s projected for September 2024 is up by a whopping 178 percent. 

You can also see the reverse in places like Tobago, where a deal to bring Sandals fell through several years ago and the island still doesn’t have a single nonstop flight from the United State. 

“When Sandals goes to market, it brings the Caribbean along,” said Gary Sadler, Executive Vice President of Sales & Industry Relations at Unique Vacations, Sandals’ worldwide representative. “This is critical to destination stakeholders and travel advisor partners upon whose shoulders Sandals stands as it introduces new audiences to the unique experiences and pleasures of Caribbean vacationing.”

Indeed, Sandals’ entry to the “main” island of St Vincent and the Grenadines has been a huge lift for the broader destination, making it easier to visit both St Vincent and the beautiful islands of the Grenadines, home to private-island resorts like Palm Island and charming little destinations like Bequia.

“We’re building out a tourism sector that is unique and amazing and air is critical to that effort,” St Vincent and the Grenadines Tourism Minister Carlos James told Caribbean Journal in a statement. “We want to welcome everyone to experience Vincy, an authentic Caribbean destination, something never seen, felt or imagined and all of it begins with making it easy for visitors to get here.”

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