Don’t be reluctant to sell Los Cabos, especially now with great deals – operators

Don’t be reluctant to sell Los Cabos, especially now with great deals – operators

TORONTO — Travel agents should not be reluctant to sell Los Cabos in the wake of Hurricane Odile, according to Sunwing and Sunquest executives who inspected the resort late last month. Plus there are great deals available.

But bookings are down which has Sunwing’s Group Vice President Lawrence Elliott more than a little frustrated.

“Do not ask me to explain this but the consumer mentality seems to be that when a hurricane hits a destination it is wiped off the face of the earth.”

He said travel agents should try to convince clients that they’ll never see bargains like this again.

“There are some real deals now compared to before the hurricane when sales to Cabo were off the charts.”

He said the airport is functional, palms have been replanted and, although some hotels are closed for extensive renovations, Sunwing and Signature have some two dozen properties ready for sale.

Sunwing began returning to Cabo Nov. 6 and although there has been some minor consolidation, Elliott said total winter capacity to the destination will be about 90% of the original plans.

He said group business remains strong but individual bookings are down which he says is “very frustrating because there is no reason not to go there”.

Sunquest’s senior buying team last week visited Los Cabos to assess the situation with the various hotels, and the destination in general, following the damage caused in September by Hurricane Odile.

“Overall the destination looks great,” said Elvi Cal, Vice President, Product Development, Sunquest. “There is very little evidence that a hurricane even hit; much less a very strong Category 3 storm.

“Cabo San Lucas is clean, the buildings and shops have been repaired and are operational, and the restaurants and bars are open for business,” continued Cal. “In terms of the resorts in this area, along with those in the Corridor and in downtown San José del Cabo, overall they are in great shape. There are some properties that had more extensive damage and are still working on repairs, but generally speaking things are looking very good. The airport is fully operational and welcoming visitors and any remaining repairs are merely cosmetic.”

Here is the status of the hotels in Sunquest’s line-up:

Barcelo Grand Faro, now open; Fiesta Americana Grand, now open; Posada Real Los Cabos, now open; Royal Solaris Los Cabos, now open; Secrets Puerto Los Cabos, now open; Sandos Finisterra Los Cabos, now open; Holiday Inn Los Cabos, re-opens Dec. 15; Dreams Los Cabos, re-opens March 1; Zoëtry Casa del Mar, re-opens March 1; Marquis Los Cabos, re-opens March 1; Hyatt Ziva Los Cabos, re-opens April 15; Melia Cabo Real, re-opens June 30.

As part of Sunquest’s Black Friday event, there are savings available now at the Barcelo Grand Faro Los Cabos: save $340 per couple on all new 7-night package bookings made between Nov. 27 and Dec. 8 for travel anytime between Jan. 1 and April 30, 2015. The offer is valid out of any gateway.

For more information and to book, visit SunquestAgent.ca.

Oliver Kluth, Riu’s SVP Sales & Business Development, was in Toronto late last month and he also wants agents to know that Los Cabos “is back” after Hurricane Odile. Riu has two resorts in the area: the Riu Palace Cabo San Lucas and the Riu Sante Fe. “The airport is open and the roads are clean and the hotels are up and running again. People in Los Cabos depend 100% on tourism. Our message to agents is, Cabo is back. Think again of Los Cabos.”