Tuesday,  August 4, 2020  9:27 am

Melia Braco Village talks World Travel Awards, new agent incentive


Melia Braco Village talks World Travel Awards, new agent incentive
Angella Bennett, sales & marketing director and Dimitris Kosovogiannis, general manager, Melia Braco Village; Philip Rose, regional director – Canada, Jamaica Tourist Board.
Blake Wolfe

Blake Wolfe is an award-winning journalist and editor, who joined PAX after nearly 10 years in Canada’s newspaper industry. In addition to PAX, his work has been featured in publications such as the Metroland Media group of newspapers and the Toronto Sun.

Jamaica’s Melia Braco Village brought some holiday cheer and good news for Toronto-area travel agents last night, fresh from a prestigious travel industry win and launching a new booking incentive for agents.

The reception brought Melia Braco Village general manager Dimitris Kosovogiannis to Toronto for the second time in recent months, following a Sept. 8 dinner in Toronto, this time bringing the property’s recent award as World’s Leading New Island Resort and the Caribbean’s Leading New Hotel at the 2016 World Travel Awards, held in Maldives in October. The award marks a strong first year for the property, which opened its doors in Rio Bueno, Jamaica (just east of Montego Bay) in January.

“We’ve only been open a year and this is beyond recognition from the travel community, it’s recognition from our guests and the people who have been there and have appreciated our property,” said Kosovogiannis. “We continue to be very committed on the guest side to provide unparalleled, unique experiences. Our objective is to provide the type of experience we would want while staying at a hotel.”

Part of that experience involves an all-inclusive program without conditions and staff guidance, he said, putting the guests’ needs and desires first. Included in the price is Melia Braco Village’s recently opened adventure park, where guests can take part in activities including an obstacle course, laser tag, paintball and trampoline. Another recent development is the upcoming opening of the property’s new convention centre, featuring 14,000 square feet with space for 800 people, offering a draw for both meetings groups and weddings. The convention centre will see its first event in April, when a Canadian business holds a corporate event there, Kosovogiannis said.

Melia Braco Village's general manager Dimitris Kosovogiannis

That particular booking also underscores Melia Braco Village’s commitment to the Canadian market, Kosovogiannis said. While Canadians have made up 30 per cent of the property’s clientele in its opening year (due in part to the large number of Canadians travelling to Jamaica, he said), Kosovogiannis told PAX that the weak loonie continues to be a consideration for Canadians planning a winter escape.

To address the issue, the property will soon offer packages at special rates for Canadian travellers and has also launched an incentive program for travel agents this month. Until Dec. 31, bookings made for travel between Jan. 1 and Feb. 28, 2017 are eligible for the property’s Triple Cash incentive, all in U.S. dollars; stays of three to four nights will earn agents a $60 bonus, five to six nights $90 and seven nights or more will net agents $120. Additional earning opportunities are also available for agents booking the property’s The Level room category. More information on the new incentive program is available at www.meliacashincentives.com.

“We’re here because we believe in the Canadian market, which is why we spend the money and the time,” he said. “I have a lot of faith in the Canadian market, as our Canadian guests are very discerning, which adds to our desire to give an experience as unique as the expectations are high. We look forward to improve and grow.”

In addition, Kosovogiannis also invited agents looking to explore the property to two free nights (blackout dates apply) and that if they have clients with special requests, to not hesitate to make those known to hotel staff.

“This is a new property so with that comes a lot of work when it comes to positioning in the marketplace,” he told PAX. “We’re meeting our targets and we expect to exceed them in 2017 as the hotel becomes more well-known. Part of what we’re doing here tonight is in line with our vision and goals for 2017.”

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