The luxury, all-inclusive resort company celebrates its 40th anniversary with sustainable, community tourism programmes
Sandals Resorts International (SRI) has announced a set of community-focused projects in the Caribbean, to celebrate 40 years since the launch of its flagship couples-only brand, Sandals Resorts.
Since opening its first resort in Montego Bay in 1981, Sandals Resorts has specialised in luxury hospitality in the region, and invested in local communities with the subsequent launch of 16 Caribbean resorts across Jamaica, The Bahamas, Grenada, Barbados, Antigua and Saint Lucia.
Now, the company is bringing corporate responsibility to the fore with the launch of the 40 for 40 Initiative – which will identify 40 projects in the company’s existing not-for-profit organisation Sandals Foundation that positively impact the lives of Caribbean communities local to the resorts.
Projects will be chosen in five main areas: supporting local farmers, hospitality training and certification, preserving natural resources, showcasing artisan crafts and community outreach. This could mean anything from ecological conservation efforts in Jamaica’s UNESCO-protected Blue and John Crow Mountains to working with farmers towards sustainable food production. Guests will be invited to take part in bringing these projects to life.
To further invest in hospitality training in the region, Sandals Resorts is also opening the Gordon “Butch” Stewart International School of Hospitality and Tourism at The University of the West Indies (The UWI) – in honour of Sandals’ late founder. Based out of the Montego Bay campus, the school will develop the next generation of hospitality professionals in the Caribbean, while investing in community tourism on the ground.
“Some of the industry’s most exciting and lasting hospitality innovation is created in the Caribbean,” said SRI Executive Chairman Adam Stewart.
“The link between tourism and the wellbeing of the local Caribbean communities where we operate is undeniable. When we invest in Caribbean people, we invest in the future of the region.”