Sandals has scheduled the reopening of its Royal Bahamian resort on New Providence for the end of January 2021, making it the last of the Caribbean chain’s resorts to open; its Emerald Bay property on Exuma is scheduled to reopen on November 1.
Sandals, in a short statement sent to Guardian Business, said its reopening decisions are being guided by demand, the country’s border openings and its travel restrictions.
“We continue to monitor the situation closely to inform
decisions as we look to reopen in the shortest possible time, to welcome back our valued team members and guests,” Sandals stated.
Minister of Tourism and Aviation Dionisio D’Aguilar revealed last week in a national address that the country plans to reopen the tourism sector in earnest – with restrictions – on October 15.
Baha Mar revealed last week that it will not open in October, and Atlantis noted it will make a determination on an opening date shortly.
Sandals’ website outlines the opening dates for all of its resorts and reveals that Sandals Royal Bahamian will open almost three months after its sister properties.
According to the website, most of Sandals’ properties are currently operating except for three of Jamaica’s six Sandals properties, one of St. Lucia’s three properties and Grenada’s resort, which is scheduled to open in two weeks.
All of The Bahamas properties will be among the last to open. Sandals Royal Bahamian typically employs about 700 people.
Sandals was forced to send guests home and close its Emerald Bay resort at the end of July, when the government brought back restrictive travel measures following the July 1 opening of the tourism sector after COVID-19 cases began to resurge in the country.
Ministry of Finance officials said last week that they are not as dependent on large resorts to measure the success of the tourism product, given the thousands of vacation home rentals on the market and the existence of boutique resort properties.