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“The partnership between RIU and Sunwing goes further than enterprise. It resembles an prolonged family,” said Deana Murphy, vice president gross sales and organization enhancement for Sunwing Vacations. “The motivation to doing the job collaboratively throughout departments has been a important component in the longevity and achievements of this partnership.”
Sunwing and RIU Lodges & Resorts teamed up still all over again on Wednesday (Nov. 29) to host their once-a-year festive VIP lunch celebration for companions, vacation advisors, and trade media at The Arlington Estate in Vaughan, ON.
At the party, Murphy and Hugo Aguilera de Alba, director of spouse promoting and business enterprise growth, United states and Canada at RIU Lodges and Resorts, emphasized the achievement of partnership, highlighting over a 10 years of collaboration.
The Elite Club quality expertise
In an interview with PAX, Aguilera de Alba shared that if 1 is common with RIU, “you know that we give a product or service for all people.”
“We have RIU Palace Lodge, we have a RIU Lodge, which is our typical line. We also have older people-only lodges. We have the splash waterparks, for family members and grown ups. And now we are accomplishing an increased quality encounter for our shoppers,” Aguilera de Alba mentioned.
According to Aguilera de Alba, massive strides were being manufactured in 2023 with the reopening of the Hotel Riu Palace Macao, Punta Cana in September just after extensive renovations.
“For me, it was like a single of these shocking moments, because I realized the house before. And as before long as I stepped in, I was like, ‘Wow, wherever am I?’” describing the transformations.
This older people-only house marked the introduction of the Elite Club principle to the Canadian market, placing a new conventional for luxury.
The Elite Club, a room category launched in late 2022, offers guests a premium working experience with unique rewards, amenities, and providers.
This can include every thing from high quality area locations to access to Elite Club lounges, top quality drinks at decide on bars selected beach front or pool spots, food and beverage enhancements, in-home in-room aromatherapy, and far more.
As element of the Elite Club, Aguilera de Alba said that RIU Palace Jamaica in Montego Bay and RIU Palace Baja California in Los Cabos, Mexico will sign up for the premium programme by December 15, 2023.
On December 3, RIU is also established to open its 3rd Elite Club expertise at the renovated grown ups-only Riu Palace Pacifico in Riviera Nayarit, Mexico where by it will keep its 24-hour all-inclusive support.
Searching in advance to 2024
RIU Palace Aquarelle is slated to open up on May perhaps 4, 2024, and will characteristic Splash Drinking water World and RIULand, the Kids’ club. This recently-built lodge is the company’s seventh resort in Jamaica and initial in the Trelawny place. The home will be positioned 25 minutes from the airport.
Aguilera de Alba suggests this household-pleasant 13-tale hotel with swim-up suites on the ground by means of 3rd flooring will provide fantastic views and follow RIU’s high-good quality expectations.
Riu Palace Bavaro in Punta Cana, in the Dominican Republic closes for renovation on Could 1, 2024, reopening on September 1, 2024. Splash H2o World, RIU Party, and RIULand activities will be readily available below.
Riu Plaza Chicago
Hotel is envisioned to open up in 2024 and will aspect a sky bar on the hotel’s 26th ground.
Spot weddings on the increase
Murphy stated Sunwing, in normal, is looking at a “massive increase” in desired destination weddings, specially with RIU.
She stated the synergy of the RIU Lover Club, together with Sunwing’s Star Loyalty Software, enhances the reserving knowledge for journey agents, generating it extra desirable, reported Murphy.
Starting up in January, Aguilera de Alba reported there’s a notable raise in marriage ceremony bookings, thinking about the Christmas year normally is a time for engagements.
The timing aligns flawlessly with RIU’s new marriage collections, released around 12 to 15 months back, like the reopening of the Riu Palace in Jamaica, a spot he thinks will be a “huge success” for weddings.
“We have fantastic quantities from weddings. But we would like to see a different document calendar year in 2024,” claimed Aguilera de Alba.
Robust agent support
Aguilera de Alba pointed out that RIU has a new and expanded team devoted to elevating the knowledge for agents.
“It can be important for [agents] to know that we are below to provide unwavering support,” he said.
The 4 committed BDMs assigned to Canada are Andres Olivares (Western Canada), Leslie Manilla, (Ontario & Manitoba), Paola Roldan, (Quebec & Atlantic Canada), and a virtual BDM, Karina Olivera, who assures agents receive well timed aid in English and French.
RIU’s BDMs purpose to preserve brokers informed about new products and systems by way of interactive and accessible online platforms.
This includes the RIU Associate Club, the lodge chain’s loyalty and benefits programme for vacation agents.
As for Sunwing, Murphy acknowledged the go in the direction of self-serve selections on the agent portal, particularly with the raising number of brokers operating from home and the associated difficulties of reaching brokers in several destinations.
Regardless of the recent absence of chat guidance on the agent portal, Murphy in depth other engagement techniques, including the Sunwing agent Fb group and a “robust webinar method.”
Sunwing, with RIU, plans to manage additional webinars to share information and facts about new items and applications.
A be concerned-cost-free practical experience
“Winter season has just started out off in a roaring wave,” shared Murphy, amusingly announcing to attendees that she experienced a person PSA to share.
With literal snowfall outdoors in the course of the lunch function, she acknowledged winter’s arrival and its possible effects on clients’ vacation motivations.
She mentioned Sunwing experienced a “fabulous” Black Friday and Cyber Monday and there are nonetheless promotions readily available out there for past-minute travellers.
In anticipation of a hectic season, a committed assist staff is readily available to enable clients anytime, claimed Murphy.
“Give oneself a break so that you never get those people 10 p.m. phone calls from a consumer in place. We can assist them quickly,” she reported.
Murphy advisable brokers notify purchasers about SunwingCares.ca, assuring brief guidance and making sure a smoother experience for both equally brokers and consumers all through the forthcoming hectic journey period of time.