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As travel picks up momentum again, Rose Cosentino, Vice President, Sales — Canada & EurAsia for Playa Hotels & Resorts, can identify several key booking trends.
“People are looking for that higher-end room category and they’re travelling for a longer duration,” she tells Travel Courier. “Whether it’s a swim-out or a one-bedroom villa, they want to pamper themselves with a nicer room category, maybe because of what they’ve gone through over the last two and a half years. We’re definitely seeing not just the lead-in images categories [are booking up quickly], people are booking the higher-end categories, for sure.”
Meanwhile, Amanda Morris, Director of Sales — Canada, says Canadian travellers are locking in their trips in advance, especially for special events and holiday travel.
“Revenge travel is very true,” she says. “We’re getting a lot of limited availability already over the festive season so we’re encouraging agents to let their clients know they can’t wait — especially in those hot top suite categories.”
Overall, Cosentino points out that the company has a competitive advantage with locations in the Dominican Republic, Jamaica and Mexico.
“That’s where Canadians love to be, especially during the winter season, and the fact that we are aligned with all of the top tour operator partners, so agents that work with their preferred partners, they can find our product available, so it should be a no brainer,” she adds.
Although the company is currently still receiving wedding groups that had to rebook their dates due to the pandemic, Morris points out that new bookings are also strong.
“We are wrapping up a lot of those bookings that had to be rescheduled, some multiple times, but we are seeing a lot of new weddings again,” she says. “Part of that is because we have such a wide variety of properties available within our portfolio now so there’s so many more options available for the couples.”
Even though the Canadian market was in lockdown mode throughout the pandemic, Cosentino says their resorts were still open to travellers throughout the pandemic, and decided to be proactive about ways Playa Hotels & Resorts could emerge even better.
“We decided to focus on three pillars — enhancing the culinary delights so the food and beverage at the resorts, and this is across all of our brands — our entertainment, we really wanted to imagine what that would look like so that guests aren’t just getting the typical entertainment that they’d get at a resort, and the third is health and wellness,” she says. “We that during the pandemic people were really amping that up. Whether it’s having specialty smoothies and yoga, we’re really paying attention and focusing on that more. It goes beyond just the spa experience.”
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