Any time a country or region imposes any sort of visa stipulation - even if it’s a waiver - the travel industry sighs a collective groan, knowing the obstacles and headaches to come.
TORONTO — Sunwing Travel Group’s hotel division will begin operating six of Rex Resorts’ Caribbean hotels as part of a newly formed strategic alliance that will see Sunwing grow its presence in destinations including Grenada, Tobago and Barbados.
The new deal takes effect Dec. 1. As part of the agreement Sunwing’s growing hotel division plans to make significant improvements to each of the resorts over the coming years.
The six Rex Resorts will be absorbed within two of Sunwing’s hotel division’s brands: the new luxury boutique hotel collection, Mystique Resorts and the popular mid-market chain, Starfish Resorts.
Mystique Royal St. Lucia will be the second addition to the Mystique Resorts brand, with the first opening later this month in Holbox, Mexico.
The Starfish Resorts brand will see five new additions: Starfish Discovery Bay Resort, Barbados; Starfish Halcyon Cove Resort, Antigua; Starfish St. Lucia Resort, Saint Lucia; Starfish Grenada Resort, Grenada and Starfish Tobago Resort, Tobago.
“We are excited to be entering into this partnership which reflects our commitment to the CARICOM countries of the Lesser Antilles,” says Stephen Hunter, President & CEO of Sunwing Travel Group. “We look forward to increasing tourism in Grenada, Tobago and Barbados as we have recently done in St. Lucia and Antigua.”
Adds Rex Resorts’ Alison Palin: “This strategic alliance will enable us to rejuvenate and further enhance these popular resorts which are all situated in prime beach locations. Leveraging Sunwing’s distribution and scale will allow us to boost our occupancy and tighten our operational costs and ultimately position these properties to provide even more value to our guests. We look forward to the continued support of our valued employees, local suppliers and tour operators as we finalize this exciting and transformational agreement.”
In other Sunwing news, the travel company has announced it will be expanding its Cuban offering this winter with the addition of seasonal flight service to Cienfuegos.
Direct flights from Toronto will operate on Mondays between Dec. 17, 2018 and April 22, 2019 inclusive.
Sunwing is the only Canadian leisure carrier to offer a direct flight service from Toronto to Cienfuegos this coming winter.
“We are very excited to be offering Cienfuegos this winter and to be giving travellers another varied Cuban destination to explore,” says Andrew Dawson, Sunwing’s President of Tour Operations. “From pristine beaches to fascinating culture, we’re sure that Cienfuegos will prove to be a popular addition.”
Resort options with Sunwing include Memories Trinidad Del Mar, recently added to Sunwing’s roster of hotels. Located near Trinidad, the resort offers two pools, gym and tennis courts and an array of non-motorized sports together with a mini club and playground for children.