Caribbean calling: Agents Connect with the Caribbean

Agents experienced a taste of the Caribbean at Selling Travel Connect: Caribbean this week – the latest installment of our Agent roadshow events.

Agents experienced a taste of the Caribbean at Selling Travel Connect: Caribbean this week – the latest instalment of our Agent roadshow events.

A total of 55 Travel Agents were engaged and inspired by the Caribbean through supplier speed-dating, networking, Q&As and a prize draw. The event took place on July 10 2023 at The Caledonian Club, London, and was a hit with Agents and suppliers alike. 

Expert suppliers 

The curated collection of suppliers covered tourism boards, airlines, tour companies and hotels, offering agents a wide overview of products in the Caribbean. In attendance were Travelpack, Barbados Tourism Marketing, Belize Tourism Board, Sandals and Beaches Resorts, Inclusive Collection – part of World Hyatt, Abercrombie & Kent and Cox & Kings, Clear Marketing and Copa Airlines

“Selling Travel Connect Caribbean was a well planned event and a great opportunity to showcase our extensive Caribbean programme to London agents,” said Heena Bhudia, Business Development Manager at Travelpack. “Travelpack directly contracts flights with leading airlines and a wide range of properties from independent hotels, to boutiques, branded all inclusive properties, luxury villas and private islands. Travelpack offers a range of holidays in the Caribbean to suit all budgets, from honeymoons and weddings to family holidays, cruises, sailing holidays and island hopping multi-centre holidays. For the more affluent client we also offer flights on private jets, and we can include luxury transfers to the clients exclusive property or private islands.”

Lina Botha, Offline Sales Manager – UK for CopaAirlines was on-hand to inform agents of Copa’s extensive network. “People tend not to know too much about us, so this is a good opportunity to tell Agents about where we’re based – Panama City – and where we fly – to South America, Central America, North America and of course all the Caribbean islands.”

Daphne Carvalho, Business Development Executive, was representing Inclusive Collection, part of World Hyatt. She was excited to raise awareness of two new properties within the collection. “Zoetry Marigot Bay in Saint Lucia is a beautiful resort, it’s not beachfront but it’s got a beautiful marina which makes it different and unique for Saint Lucia and perfect for soft Sailing,” she said. Also new is the Zoetry Paraiso De La Bonita in Mexico. 

Clear Marketing represents a wide range of five-star luxury and independent resorts in the Caribbean. Kerrie Bartholomew, Account Director explained: “We’ve got resorts in Barbados, St Lucia, Granada, Antique, Tobago and the Island of Nevis.” 

In particular, Clear Marketing is trying to raise awareness of Nevis with the trade. “Nevis is a tiny island – there’s only 400 rooms on the island itself. It’s not yet been ‘discovered’ by the UK market, so we are raising awareness that it is a beautiful island. It’s a lovely little gem!”  

Cedric Lynch, Business Development Officer for the Barbados Tourism Board, was telling agents about what’s new in Barbados. “This year there’s lots of events and things to do in Barbados. There’s new routes coming up with new airlines to the North.” He was also discussing Barbados’ ‘elite club’ for Agents, with training and reward schemes.

Craig Liddle, Agency Sales Manager at Abercrombie & Kent and Cox & Kings, was keen to raise awareness of their Caribbean products. “We’re more known for things like safaris and escorted tours,” he said, “but in the Caribbean we’ve got a fantastic range of beach products. We’re very competitive on price and we’ve aligned our pricing along with our main competitors.”

Another region showcased at the event was Belize. Represented by Natalie Swinburne of Finn Partners, Belize is an ideal destination for eco-conscious travellers. “Over 50% of the land [in Belize] is protected. We’ve got the only jaguar conservation park in the world, and the world’s second largest barrier reef,” she said. “So it’s perfect for anyone who is interested in wildlife or sustainable holidays. 

Finally, Lorraine Adams, Business Development Manager at Sandals shared updates on the luxury resorts in Jamaica, Antigua, Saint Lucia, The Bahamas, Barbados, Grenada, and Curaçao.

Prize winners

As always at Selling Travel Connect events, the evening culminated with an exciting prize draw, consisting of luxury hampers, goodie bags, chocolate, champagne and vouchers.

Ilona Job of Jetset Flights Ltd won a £50 Love2Shop voucher courtesy of Abercrombie & Kent and Cox & Kings. Commenting on the event she said: “Many thanks for the opportunity to learn so much about Caribbean destinations and hotels. It was great fun learning that much in speed presentations. Thank you so much for the opportunity to learn and win the prize!”

Aida Furmston-Evans of Travel Counsellors got lucky with Copa Airlines. Karen Jones, another Travel Counsellor, won with Clear Marketing. She said: “I had a great time attending the event and it was a lovely surprise to win the Elemis gift at the end. The venue at the Caledonian Club was great and the suppliers were all informative and the content very useful. I came away with an increased knowledge of the Caribbean which will help with my business. It was nice to have a mixture of airlines, suppliers and destinations presenting at the event.”

Chrissy Mackenzie-Cooper of Darrel James Travel won Sandal’s prize, while George Singh of Hays Travel won with Barbados. Carol Smith of Your Holiday Booking won with Belize and Candida Correia of Travology Travel walked away with Traveplack’s prize. 

Finally, Darrell Toakley of Darrell James Travel won with Hyatt, and said: “It was a great event for learning and gaining knowledge and contacts for future bookings.”

Photo gallery

Join us next time

Our next Connect events will be in August. Learn more here…