DOM | Jun 16, 2023

Sandals eyeing Dominican Republic for expansion

/ Our Today

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Gebhard Rainer, CEO of Sandals Resorts International. (Photo:

Jamaican hotel chain brand Sandals is planning on expanding to the Dominican Republic, which has been experiencing a surge in tourism growth.

Fresh from its most recent hotel project, opening of the 260 rooms Sandals Dunns River in Ocho Rios in Jamaica, Sandals Resorts International (SRI) is analysing new destinations for its luxury resorts such as the Dominican Republic, with Mexico being seen as a distinct possibility.

The Jamaican hotel conglomerate, which has operations throughout the Caribbean, is focusing on offering its clients new experiences.

As such, hotel chain CEO Gebhard Rainer has disclosed that SRI has its eyes set on the Dominican Republic for being one of the destinations with the highest tourism in the Caribbean and where the brand currently doesn’t have a presence.

He pointed to the importance of destinations in Mexico, since Sandals clients are always looking for new places to holiday in.

Speaking with Dominican Today, Rainer emphasises that, “the hotel company is attentive to the opportunities presented by the market, that is, they are aware of those assets that have difficulties making these conversions, what they call ‘Sandalizing’ a property like this is collected by Costar.”

Staying competitive in the all-inclusive segment

The Sandals CEO highlighted that the goal is to stay competitive in the all-inclusive segment noting that the luxury all-inclusive business not only competes with the local market but “also competes globally because travelers who pay in this luxury segment are world travelers, that is, they have visited other international destinations and can compare the standards.”

Rainer mentioned that a commission of hotel managers including Sandals boss, Adam Stewart, visited Dom Rep last year, where they learned about the attractions of Punta Cana and Las Terrenas. They also traveled to other developing tourist destinations such as Pedernales and Miches.

The visit by the hoteliers, who also met with President Luis Abinader, had a very clear objective to look for possible investment opportunities.


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