Sandals is not going anywhere and will continue to promote the twin-island nation, according to Sandals Resorts International.
A public rift between the prime minister and the resort chain has many speculating that it may decide to pull out of Antigua, leaving hundreds unemployed.
However, Chief Executive Officer Adam Stewart speaking on radio today said the hotel with over 25 years in Antigua and Barbuda is here through thick and thin.
Stewart said the company is not going to allow a rift with Prime Minister Gaston Browne to affect how it does business.
“The beautiful thing is that we get up everyday and we love what we do, so we will be promoting in the UK like what we are doing now. We will get up everyday with the same pride that we have had from 1991, and we will promote your 365 beaches and the amazing people of Antigua.
“We will not allow a prime minister who is having desperate times to get the better of a company like ours, we are in this for the long haul, we love Antigua, and we have absolutely no intentions of doing anything but the track that we have been on for the 20 plus years with Antigua, since 1991. We are not going anywhere, and we will continue to promote the island and the people and that’s what we do everyday,” an adamant Stewart said.
Stewart disclosed that the company will be training over 15, 000 travel agents, an initiative that has taken place for the last 30 days and will continue for that duration.
He said the agents are receiving information on Caribbean tourism, while promoting Antigua at the same time.
Meantime, Prime Minister Browne also denied being in a feud with Sandals and said he hopes this would be the end of the ongoing issue between him and the company.
“As far as I am concerned this is a dead issue,” he said.
“I have no interest in continuing this issue…I not looking for no fight with Butch Stewart or anybody but where you cross the line I am going to stand up for this country.”
He advised Sandals, “Pay government the 12.5 guest tax. It’s not their monies to hold on to. It’s trust money. When they collect the money from their guests pay it into the treasury. So we can build schools, run our hospitals, provide scholarships for our people…and pay pensions on time.”
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