A CONSTRUCTIVE APPROACH Sunwing Group gets its hotels opened ahead of schedule

A CONSTRUCTIVE APPROACH Sunwing Group gets its hotels opened ahead of schedule

Sunwing has announced it will be reintroducing its direct flight service from Toronto to Saint Lucia beginning in late January 2017. The schedule coincides nicely with the early opening of two of the island’s latest all-inclusive luxury resorts, the Royalton Saint Lucia Resort and Spa and Hideaway at Royalton Saint Lucia. Originally slated to open February 1, both properties will now be ready from January 15.

Andrew Dawson, president of Tour Operations for Sunwing said, “Royalton Luxury Resorts is one of our top partners and we are delighted to hear that both these new resorts will be completed ahead of schedule. We are sure that these two new additions – the first two Royalton Luxury Resorts to be built on Saint Lucia - will be well received. The news that we are adding flights from Toronto could not come at a better time.”
How do they do it?
The fact that both hotels are opening almost a month early got us thinking about the Royalton brand which opened it’s first resort, The Royalton Cayo Santa Maria in Cuba in December 2012.
Since then the hugely popular and successful brand has opened resorts in Jamaica – The Royalton White Sands in November 2013, and in the Dominican Republic - The Royalton Punta Cana in November 2013.
Then 2014 saw Varadero’s Royalton Hiarcos open in October, and in December Cancun’s Royalton Riviera and the Hideway at the Royalton Riviera were both welcoming visitors.
This year Royalton Blue Waters was projected to open in Jamaica in November, but will in fact open this month.
The new St. Lucia properties as we noted earlier will both open a month early in January 2017 and the Hideaway at Royalton Negril projected for next February will also open a month earlier in January.
So how does Royalton do it? In the Caribbean, Mexico and in fact almost anywhere you can think of, including Toronto, construction delays are the norm, so how does this brand consistently come in ahead of schedule.
Stephen Hunter, CEO and president of Sunwing Travel Group, the parent company of Royalton Resorts, provided the answer to that question.
“We are able to open on or before schedule because we own our own construction company.” Said Hunter.
“We currently have three construction crews in the Caribbean which we move from site to site to manage all aspects of the construction from start to finish. This allows us to control quality, timing and ensure all aspects of the hotels are consistent with our standards.”
Given Sunwing Group’s steady expansion and growth since it began in 2002, its successful vertical integration model which encompasses tour operators, retail travel agencies, Canada’s 3rd largest airline, destination management companies, and a number of hotel brands including the rapidly growing Royalton - their ownership of a construction company should not be surprising - in fact, it makes perfect sense.
Asked whether Hurricane Matthew that swept through much of the Caribbean might delay the proposed early opening dates, Hunter assured us it would not.
“No,” he said, “they are all scheduled to open early.”

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