Knowledge, Connections, and Music at the 2018 Sandals STAR Awards

Written by: Michelle on December 30, 2018

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From November 28 through December 2, Sandals Resorts welcomed a group of their top performing travel agents from around the world to Jamaica to attend the 17th annual Sandals Travel Agency Recognition (STAR) Awards. Our agent Ryan Trenn of Take Me Away Travel attended on behalf of KHM Travel Group. Ryan was there to accept our award for Sandals Best of the Best Agency for the Midwest region and share his perspective of this exciting event with us.

This year’s event welcomed travel agents to Sandals Ochi Beach Club at Sandals Ochi Resort in Ocho Rios, Jamaica. Together, the agents shared business ideas and advice while taking in the beauty of the island and the Sandals Luxury Included® experience. Events catered to the agents’ specialties, giving them the opportunity to dine at the neighboring Beaches Ocho Rios, one of the Sandals’ family resort locations. During the Aisle to Isle wedding experience, agents learned about the options available for a Sandals destination wedding and gained inspiration on how to make their clients’ big day in paradise truly special.

The event featured several notable speakers including Gebhard Rainer, the CEO of Sandals Resorts, as well as Deputy Chairman Adam Stewart and Vice President of Global Sales for Sandals Resorts, Gary Sadler. Together these speakers shared insights on the future of the Sandals brands and their plan for continued support of travel agents and their clients.

Agents also heard Jamaican Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett highlight what makes Jamaica such a special destination. From the rich flavors of the food to the vibrant culture of its people, this island offers its guests an inviting place to experience island life.

Music is also essential to the Jamaican experience, and each evening’s entertainment encouraged the agents to soak up the sounds of the island.  On the first evening, agents danced the night away on the ocean at a floating dance party. The following night, agents moved to the beat of their own rhythm at a silent disco, where everyone wears a pair of headphones that wirelessly connects to one of several music options. To an onlooker, the crowd seems to be dancing without music.

The final night featured a very special guest, the Jamaican dancehall-reggae singer Shaggy. The early 2000’s star gave a surprise performance which included his biggest hits like “It Wasn’t Me,” and “Angel.” It was a fun evening that embodied both the Sandals brand and Jamaica’s carefree, energetic vibes.

For Ryan and his fellow agents, industry events like the STAR awards give them a chance to expand their industry connections and immerse themselves in a destination. Thanks to Ryan for sharing his pictures and insights with us, and congratulations to all KHM Travel Group agents on earning this recognition!

If you are interested in learning more about becoming a travel agent with KHM Travel Group, you can fill out the form to the right or give us a call at 1-888-611-1220.  We would love to answer any questions you may have about choosing KHM Travel Group as your host travel agency.

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