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Island Routes reiterates commitment to travel trade, announces new partnership

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  •   09-25-2014  11:30 am
Island Routes reiterates commitment to travel trade, announces new partnership

Caribbean tour and excursion company Island Routes has been selected as the official transfer partner for the soon-to-open Hyatt Ziva and Zilara properties in Jamaica, the company has announced.

“We’re very excited at our growth in this light,” said David Shields, general manager, Island Routes.

Hyatt guests will have access to exclusive general transfers to and from the airport, the option for luxury transfers, plus exclusive tours. In addition, a co-branded catamaran will be available to Hyatt guests in collaboration with Island Routes.

“We selected them based on their service,” said Kevin Froemming, executive vice-president & chief marketing officer, Playa Hotels & Resorts. “The experience will begin from the time guests get off the plane.”

In an interview with PAX, Shields noted the impressive growth of the tour business, especially with the recent introduction of River Bumpkin Farm outside of Montego Bay, which is owned and operated by Island Routes and parent company Sandals Resorts International.

“As a tour provider in Jamaica, we’ve decided that extending our brand into an owner/operator role is one of the key areas,” he said, though pointing out that integration with other vendors also remains key to operations.

Island Routes currently operates in 17 resort areas within 11 Caribbean destinations, including those where Sandals does not yet have a presence – for example, Aruba, Cayman Islands and the Dominican Republic.

A new cruise portal is now available on its website, which allows agents to book land excursions that fit with specific cruise itineraries by matching applicable options based on the ship, destination and date.

“We’re not feeding you tours that are irrelevant to your itinerary,” Shields said. And in a time when travel agents cannot typically earn commission when booking land excursions directly via a cruise line, this is an opportunity to offer quality product to clients and make money, he added.

For more on Island Routes product, click here.

Photo: Members of the Island Routes team at JAPEX, including David Shields (right)