August 13, 2012

~ Island Routes Caribbean Adventure Tours Welcomes 1,500 Participants and Hands Over US$4,800 to Benefit Children in the Caribbean ~

Robby and Erin Stohlman, guests of Sandals Montego Bay, have their hands full with students from the Leanora Morris Basic School while on the Reading Road Trip in Montego Bay, Jamaica.


Over the past year, the Sandals Foundation’s Reading Road Trip program was met with great support, with more than 1,500 visitors participating in the program and raising over US$4,800 to benefit more than 400 students in the Caribbean. 

In 2011, Island Routes Caribbean Adventure Tours came on board with the Sandals Foundation by offering the Reading Road Trip as a two-hour excursion that takes guests of Sandals Resorts, Beaches Resorts and Grand Pineapple Beach Resort into the community to visit one of the Foundation’s participating adopted schools in Saint Lucia, Antigua, The Bahamas, Turks & Caicos and Jamaica. The Reading Road Trip gives guests the opportunity to engage small groups of school children in active reading strategies. With this partnership, Island Routes Caribbean Tours is now a proud sponsor of the Sandals Foundation’s commitment to education.

“Give-back vacations have become so popular these days, with people wanting to do more during their vacation and feel like they’re a part of the community in which they’re vacationing,” said David L. Shields, General Manager of Island Routes Caribbean Adventure Tours. “No longer is a vacation in the Caribbean solely about sun, sea and sand, but also about exploring and making a difference in the lives of the people. The Reading Road Trip is our way of giving back to the communities we live in, and to the youngsters who will, one day, be the leaders of our Caribbean nations.”

Janet Briggs, Principal of the Culloden Early Childhood Institute in Westmoreland, Jamaica, said that the school has noticed a great improvement in the students’ literacy.  “I just completed the Ministry of Education assessment with them and I’m so pleased. Out of 33 students, 27 of them achieved mastery, which falls in the grade category of 80-100 percent. This is a definite improvement over the previous year and we credit the Reading Road Trip.”

Heidi Clarke, Director of Programs of the Sandals Foundation noted that the partnership with Island Routes Tours has been successful and the Foundation is looking forward to the start of the 2012-2013 school year, when the Reading Road Trip will resume.  “Island Routes Tours has been instrumental in making the Reading Road Trip possible and we are very grateful for their commitment to the Caribbean’s children. This literacy tour not only promotes education in a classroom setting, but cultural experiences that are beneficial to everyone involved,” Clarke said.

Reading Road Trip is offered every Thursday from 9am until 11am when schools are in session.  The cost is US$20 per person, which covers round-trip transportation and all supplies. Children 8-12 years of age can participate at no cost and all minors must be accompanied by an adult.  Volunteers are encouraged to bring along a favorite new or gently-used book to donate to the library of the school they visit. Guests interested in volunteering may sign up with Island Routes Tours via, by calling 1-888-429-5478, or at an Island Routes Tours desk at any Sandals, Beaches and Grand Pineapple Beach Resort.

The Sandals Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, was created to continue and to expand upon the philanthropic work that Sandals Resorts International has undertaken.  It is the culmination of three decades of dedication to playing a meaningful role in the lives of the communities where we operate across the Caribbean. The Sandals Foundation funds projects in three core areas: education, community and the environment.   One hundred percent of the monies contributed by the general public to the Sandals Foundation go directly to programs benefiting the Caribbean community. To learn more about the Sandals Foundation, visit online at

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August 21, 2012

~ Grand Prize for Panera Bread Summer Sweepstakes is a Luxury Included® Vacation for Two at Sandals Resorts ~


Sandals Resorts is pleased to announce a new summer sweepstakes partnership with Panera Bread called Panera’s EatSmarts Online Gaming Campaign. This three-tier gaming campaign, including Spin-a-Meal or Food Swap and Drop, is hosted on the Panera Bread website and consists of educational games to teach Panera customers and MyPanera loyalty members how to make health-conscious decisions when dining at Panera Bread. Those who play and successfully complete the final level of the EatSmarts game will be entered into the Grand Prize drawing for a chance to win a Sandals Resorts Luxury Included® Caribbean Vacation for two.

As the Grand Prize, Sandals Resorts is featured on the Panera homepage, contest page, Facebook and Twitter pages, email-blasts to MyPanera Loyalty Members and more. As with all Luxury Included® Vacations, the winner and guest will enjoy superior accommodations, endless gourmet dining options, unlimited premium brand wine and spirits, nightly entertainment, watersports including snorkeling and scuba diving for certified divers and a myriad of other exclusive amenities.

Panera Bread bakery-cafes bring the tradition of freshly baked artisan bread to neighborhoods in cities throughout the country with 1,562 company-owned and franchise-operated bakery-cafes in 40 states. To learn more about the EatSmarts Online Gaming Campaign, or for a chance to win a trip to Sandals Resorts, visit through August 31, 2012.

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August 27, 2012

~ Travel Agents Learned About the Future of Sandals Resorts at the MORE Quality Inclusions Convention ~ 


Sandals Resorts International CEO, Adam Stewart, thanks attending travel agents for their participation and loyalty.


On Thursday, August 16, I had the unique opportunity to be in Atlantic city, New Jersey, with more than 1100 travel agents at the most recent  2012 Sandals Resorts and Beaches Resorts “MORE Quality Inclusions” Convention in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Top travel agents including Chairman’s Royal Club members, Certified Sandals Specialists and Preferred Sandals Agency owners, as well as soon-to-be certified agents, attended a series of conferences and special events where they learned more about the Sandals Resorts, Beaches Resorts and Grand Pineapple Beach Resorts products.



Sandals Resorts’ Director of Romance, Marsha-Ann Brown, educates travel agents on the new customizable “Your Wedding. Your Style.” program.


The exciting “MORE Quality Inclusions” convention included a full day of activities beyond a trade show and general information sessions. This year’s convention featured five break-out classes including specialized education in “Effective selling,” “Island Routes Caribbean Adventure Tours,” “Weddings and Honeymoons,” “Dining Options,” as well as “Group, Golf and Dive offerings.” The convention also featured a “Your Wedding. Your Style. ” fashion show presented by Marsha-Ann Brown bringing the new Sandals Destination Wedding Designer to life, along with a gourmet dinner with entertainment and several prize giveaways.

Mark your calendar for the upcoming convention in Toronto on October 18.



Unique Vacations Inc. Director of Industry Relations, Andre Wade, entertains a crowd of travel agents as the day’s events culminate with live music and dancing.


 These conventions and unveilings provide a unique opportunity for agents to interact with others who have been successful selling Sandals Resorts, Beaches Resorts, and Grand Pineapple Resorts. Throughout each year, Sandals Resorts consistently rewards and educates its most loyal travel agents with training sessions, booking incentives and resort tours in Jamaica, Saint Lucia, Antigua, The Bahamas and the Turks & Caicos islands. Specialized travel agent programming includes the Certified Sandals Specialist program, Preferred Sandals Agency program and the Chairman’s Royal Club.


Sandals Resorts International continues to support the travel agent community as highlighted in the recent live interview from Atlanta, where CEO, Adam Stewart shared the impact agents are making in the travel industry during a live interview on Fox Business last week. To view the segment in full, click here to watch now.


Look forward to seeing you in Toronto.


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