Tuesday 26 June 2018

CARIBBEAN: Karisma Hotels & Resorts To Expand To St. Lucia And Barbados

Mandy Chomat, chief sales and marketing officer at Karisma Hotels & Resorts, says the all-inclusive company is planning to expand its Margaritaville, an All-Inclusive Experience, by Karisma brand to the islands of Barbados and St. Lucia.

There’s serious thought about expanding to St. Lucia and Barbados, said Chomat.

Karisma Hotels & Resorts is in discussions to expand Margaritaville into these islands over the next few years.”

Chomat also said travelers could expect new Nickelodeon Hotels & Resorts properties throughout the Caribbean as well. That brand first debuted in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic in 2016.

Karisma is scouting Barbados and St. Lucia, along with other major island destinations, for Margaritaville, An All-Inclusive Experience, by Karisma, as well as Nickelodeon Hotels & Resorts,says Chomat.

We’re looking at island destinations throughout the Caribbean, including Antigua, the Bahamas, and Grenada, evaluating airlift and infrastructure, among other variables.

In Mexico, the company is opening the El Cielo Winery & Resort in Valle De Guadalupe, Baja California this summer. In 2019, the company is spotlighting the Riviera Maya once again with the opening of Nickelodeon Hotels & Resorts Riviera Maya and Margaritaville, an All-Inclusive Experience, by Karisma.

In addition to our continued expansion in Riviera Maya, Karisma is looking at Baja California, Vallarta and Huatulco in Mexico, said Chomat.

Later this summer, we will also introduce El Cielo Winery & Resort in Mexico’s Valle de Guadalupe, the new Napa Valley.

Although the new Margaritaville, an All-Inclusive Experience, by Karisma brand is expected to be the most popular amongst Millennials, Chomat has noted in the past that Jimmy Buffett, the musician who made the Margaritaville song and brand famous worldwide, has fans or Parrot Heads, that span generations.

St. Lucia and Barbados are globally recognized destinations that appeal to leisure travelers, said Chomat.

The vibe of Margaritaville lends itself beautifully to these islands and others as it’s a state of mind, inviting guests to unwind and enjoy themselves in paradise.

And several Caribbean travel experts TravelPulse spoke with agree.

It will be interesting to see how the Margaritaville concept pans out because I think it will be on a level of luxury that many people wouldn't expect when they think about the brand Margaritaville, said Anthony Tucker, vice president and general manager at the All Inclusive Outlet in Georgetown, Kentucky.

So often people only think of the restaurant or casino in Las Vegas, but the proposed plans are really going to cater towards a luxury-centric customer who wants to just have a blast on vacation.

I think when they open in Cancun/Riviera Maya it will be eye opening and their success there will carry over into even further success in St. Lucia and Barbados.

Ryan Doncsecz of VIP Vacations, Inc. in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania also thinks the plans will greatly benefit Barbados, which he thinks is in need of another new, all-inclusive resort.

Another all inclusive resort in Barbados is huge, said Doncsecz. Sandals Resorts International already has proved that an all-inclusive can be a huge success on an island that is predominantly EP.

Finally, St. Lucia getting another brand name shows their dedication to bringing new and exciting experiences to the island.

Petra Roach, U.S. director of the Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc. (BTMI), says the presence of a Karisma resort on island would help increase the island's presence amongst Millennials.

Hotel investment is critical to future growth, said Roach, and the Karisma brand brings with it a strong Millennial customer base and a focus on the culinary experience of the visitor - both of which are integral to Barbados’ overarching tourism strategy.

Karisma also remains committed to expanding its relationships in existing destinations like Jamaica, the Dominican Republic and Mexico’s Riviera Maya.

In fact, Karisma Hotels and Resorts recently revealed that it is planning to develop a brand new luxury resort, entertainment and retail complex in Jamaica.

The Sugar Cane Jamaica project will be located near Ocho Rios.

It’s the most ambitious development in the country’s history, representing a $1 billion investment and plans for 10 hotels encompassing 5,000 rooms over the next decade, said Chomat.

Karisma first expanded to the Caribbean in late 2013 when it had a soft opening for its first Jamaica resort, Azul Sensatori Jamaica. Karisma then expanded to Punta Cana, Dominican Republic in 2016 in the form of its popular family brand Nickelodeon Hotels & Resorts.

The smaller islands of the Caribbean are a fast growing portion of our business right now, particularly in St. Lucia, so I think those destinations are a perfect fit, said Tucker.

Tourism Observer

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