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.

Gordon “Butch” Stewart.
Gordon Butch Stewart.

“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.

9 Responses to It’s the mix!

  1. Sharon Woolley
    Sharon Woolley August 23, 2014 at 6:37 am

    After paying VERY high prices for an “all inclusive” you are not going to be spending much money in local places ! if you want to eat and drink out, you don’t go all inclusive ! – why pay twice for food and drink

    • Rawle Spooner
      Rawle Spooner August 23, 2014 at 11:22 am

      Sharon my friend everyone agrees with you except Barbados politicians.

    • Sharon Woolley
      Sharon Woolley August 23, 2014 at 1:26 pm

      Rawle I think the problem is created by politicians and the BTA having to share 1 brain between them !

  2. Earl Anderson Brathwaite
    Earl Anderson Brathwaite August 23, 2014 at 7:09 am

    We are viewing tourist through our economic eyes, yes they are a portion watching their budget, but Mr. Stewart is right, the tourists who are able to afford Sandals are not coming to sit down in Sandals. These hotels attract people wanting to affiliate with a brand, so they want both the luxury and convenience of all-inclusive as well as access to local treasures. But we must have treasures or attractions for them, consumers like uniqueness, value for money, and to affiliate. Do we have that?

  3. Janet Beynon Chilcott
    Janet Beynon Chilcott August 23, 2014 at 7:19 am

    I choose AI. Last couple of times , but also ate out and done trips , used local buses , bought gifts ,
    And paid money for the hotel and flights that employ local people . I believe there should be a mixture of both .

  4. John Herbert
    John Herbert August 23, 2014 at 7:53 am

    When Sandals was opened the guests went out to various establishments every week, including to Oistins on the weekends. They go on cruises on board the Jolly Roger and the Catamarans. They use Taxis and so many other services.

    The assumption that all inclusive means that the guests will not leave the hotel and patronize other businesses is just wrong.

    This will continue when the hotel re-opens!

  5. Sharon Went Alleyne
    Sharon Went Alleyne August 23, 2014 at 8:46 am

    Here in St. Lucia, staff are instructed to only recommend tours that have a deal with the hotel. Guests are not encouraged to do the sights on their own. I,e, don’t rent a car and view the sights mingle with the locals.
    Another thing Sandal staff are not allowed to accept tips and are fired immediately if they do.

  6. Robert Foster
    Robert Foster August 23, 2014 at 9:02 am

    If I was Butch getting so much flack from Bajan I would tell them all to f off and take my dollars somewhere else. What is wrong with Bajans though?

  7. Rawle Spooner
    Rawle Spooner August 23, 2014 at 11:13 am

    Barbados taxpayers are the biggest losers in this sweetheart deal with Sandals,seriously things got to change in the way taxpayers money is spent.


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