It’s the mix!
Stewart makes case for all-inclusive brand
Hotelier Gordon Butch Stewart has dismissed suggestions that his all-inclusive hotel brand will cause tourists not to support local establishments in Barbados.
In fact, the chairman of the Sandals Resort International (SRL) Group said that, given the Dover, Christ Church location alone, it was almost impossible for people not to venture out and support local bars, restaurants and other businesses. He was speaking to reporters recently after a tour of the location.
Stewart said while the product he had was to deliver service above what people expected, guests would still be encouraged by the hotel to get out and experience what the rest of the island had to offer.
“I want people to come here and get more than they expected when they are spending their money . . . . People will leave this hotel, probably a hundred a day for attractions outside of the hotel. It happens everywhere.
“We have a company that is called Island Routes that sells the attraction out there. So our job is to bring the visitors to Barbados and then get them out so they can taste the country, taste the flavour, the different food and [interact with] the different people.
“I can guarantee you that when this hotel opens, you go down the road [in] the bars and the restaurants [and] you will see Sandals people in there,” Stewart added.
“When you are selling a quality product you are going to get a bigger price. People that can afford to pay a bigger price, they don’t want to get cooped up in a place with a few acres.”
The hotel magnet said the people who came to the island could afford to and therefore the suggestion was not true, adding that 20 years ago he was criticized for getting involved in an all-inclusive operation. Stewart advised that the economy needed a mix of various brands.
“I would say that there is space for everybody . . . . If you have a great all-inclusive, you have a great EP; you have great country clubs, et cetera. That is what is going to make a destination strong; where you have a proper mix and comprehensiveness of offerings,” he said, adding that over a decade ago some hotels started offering all-inclusive packages to attract guests when they saw the benefits.