Sandals Emerald Bay is doing “phenomenally well” compared to 2019, Sandals Resorts International Executive Chairman Adam Stewart said on Wednesday, adding that the company is in discussions with Air Canada to fly a 140-seat aircraft into Great Exuma.
Stewart said airlift to the island is down only eight percent compared to 2019.
Sandals’ Exuma resort has only been open since February and according to Stewart “continues to be the anchor in Exuma”.
He added that the pandemic has brought together all of the tourism players on Exuma for the common purpose of restarting the island’s economic engine.
“What I love about our relationship in Exuma is we’ve pulled together,” said Stewart.
“And one of the great things that has happened during the pandemic is we’ve come together like we’ve never come together before, with the government, with the other hoteliers, all doing our very best to earn our way out of a situation that none of us created.
“And the unity in Exuma is at the best that I’ve ever seen it in our 11 years.”
Stewart also revealed that he would soon be announcing changes to Sandals’ Fowl Cay property, which is a private island destination for high-end, high-budget vacationers.
Fowl Cay proved popular last year for travelers who were looking to vacation away from others during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Fowl Cay, that’s the new thing,” said Stewart.
“Fowl Cay continues to do well. The future of Fowl Cay is going to blow your mind. Fowl Cay is coming on to be a transformational private island experience.”
Stewart said the pandemic has been “everything but linear and clear” for Sandals and the tourism sector at large.
However, he contended that the demand for the Caribbean is higher than any other region in this hemisphere.