Sandals introduces 'engagementcation' as tourist season begins

Published: Sunday | December 22, 2013 Comments 0
Tourists enjoy the beach in Negril, Westmoreland.-File
Tourists enjoy the beach in Negril, Westmoreland.-File

Sandals Resort International has kicked off the winter tourist season with a new product for the wedding and connected business lines with the introduction of the 'engagementcation' for couples planning to marry but have not yet popped the question.

The group is introducing a concierge service which will ensure all proposal requests are fulfilled and expectations exceeded, the company said in a release.

The Sandals Resort chain operates multiple destinations in Jamaica, the Bahamas, St. Lucia, Antigua, Grenada and Barbados.

Marsha-Ann Brown, director of wedding and romance, told Sunday Business that the resort group is seeing double-digit growth in the wedding market segment.

"We're seeing a huge growth in destination weddings with an increase of over 18 per cent in couples now choosing to host their big day abroad," she said.

She noted that the Caribbean remains the most popular destination for those looking to tie the knot, with 40 per cent of the overall market.

Brown explains that "the destination wedding experience has evolved considerably. Whereas previously you'd see the bride and groom coming on their own, now large groups of friends and family are making the trip and enjoying a holiday before and after the big day."

She said that "At Sandals, we're seeing overseas wedding groups staying with as many as 175-200 people, which obviously has a tremendous impact on the economy with everyone from local entertainers to florists all playing a role in their experience."

Noting that the end of the year is the most popular time for couples to get engaged, the company launched its new 'Soon to Moon' engagement concierge service with offers to customise "the special moment that begins the journey to marriage".

Brown said that "whether it's a more traditional beachfront proposal, a high-flying zip-lining tour, or an exciting snorkelling excursion, our Soon to Moon concierges will guarantee a memorable proposal with minimal effort on the part of our guests."

According to the director of weddings, the focus is on "ensuring that we are ahead of global trends and that every wedding couple has the same choices and same level of exclusivity that they'd enjoy anywhere in the world."

avia.collinder@gleanerjm.com

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