Why Sandals Isn’t Expanding Beyond the Caribbean Any Time Soon

Skift Take

Sandals has the brand power to expand the region but that doesn’t mean its a priority. Stewart’s comments suggest the company has power in the Caribbean it isn’t willing to give up to expand.

— Samantha Shankman

Despite inquiries from growing beach destinations likes Abu Dhabi, Dubai, and the Maldives, Sandals Resorts‘ executives have no plans to expand the brand outside of its home base in the Caribbean.

Sandals, which CEO Adam Stewart refers to as the “second most powerful brand to come out of the Caribbean after Bob Marley,” currently has 24 properties spread across nine islands and seven countries.

So why not leverage that brand power to destinations where luxury travel is on the rise?

“We know what we know very well. We focus on English-speaking caribbean countries,” he explains.

Stewart says the brand has more growth left in the Caribbean before looking outwards; a statement backed up by a record year of tourism revenues in 2013.

Tourists to the region spent $28 billion last year, a more than 2 percent increase from 2012.

“We’d love to be in the Cayman Islands. We’d love to be in Aruba. There are still other caribbean territories that we’d like to get in and play our part before we leave the Caribbean,” Stewart explains.

“Certainly the brand has the respect, the integrity, and the ability to go anywhere in the world,” he adds. “We never say never.”

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