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TORONTO — There was plenty of good cheer and a lot of laughs onboard the Lady Sandals last night, as Maureen Barnes-Smith, Director of Sales & Marketing, Unique Vacations Canada Inc. and Gary Sadler, Senior VP Sales, Unique Vacations, Inc. hosted a special sailing onboard the resort company’s famous yacht for its top tour operators, tourism board partners and select media.
The Thursday evening sailing along the calm waters of Lake Ontario capped off four nights of industry events onboard Lady Sandals.
Earlier this week Sandals BDMs Robert Smith (Eastern Ontario), Giselle Williams (Central Ontario & Ottawa) and Michelle Lanoue (SW Ontario) all hosted successive nights of VIP agent events on the yacht.
Last night Sandals feted its top tour operators, including Air Canada Vacations, TravelBrands, Transat and WestJet Vacations, plus representatives from just about all the Caribbean islands with Sandals and Beaches Resorts, from Jamaica, Barbados and Bahamas to Grenada, Turks & Caicos and Saint Lucia.
Sadler, so well-known in the Canadian market from his many years here with Sandals Resorts, made the trip up from Miami to host the VIP cruise with Barnes-Smith. “I’m so happy to be in Canada,” said Sadler. “I wouldn’t have missed this for the world.”
Sadler thanked tour operators and tourism boards for their support: “The success of our operation is built on everyone in this room,” he said.
After someone joked that he made it up to Toronto just in time for the end of summer, Sadler came back with: “The brochures are out and tour operators need to get back to work. I’m done with summer. I’m ready for winter!”
He added: “Thank you for your support and your partnership. Canada continues to be a very important market for us, and it continues to be very successful. Sandals is here to stay in Canada. And we continue to build hotels and expand our presence in the Caribbean.”
Last night’s sailing included representatives from all of Sandals and Beaches Resorts’ partner tourism boards, including a strong contingent from Barbados, which this weekend will host the annual Barbados On The Water Festival at Toronto’s Harbourfront Centre, Aug. 16 – 18. The free festival, produced by Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc. and Harbourfront Centre, will showcase the best tastes, sights and sounds of Barbados, with live entertainment, rum and culinary treats, wellness experiences, family-friendly arts and crafts, a fashion show and a ticketed comedy show.
Meanwhile the Lady Sandals is already on her way east to Kingston, ON for a stop, then to Quebec City, Montreal and Halifax, for more travel industry events.