A new resort in Mexico, enhancements at a popular Punta Cana property, and free weddings in 2018, are among the gifts that RIU Resorts has delivered to guests – and the agents that send them there – this holiday season.
The news, along with a full update on a host of company developments, was delivered to a select audience of Canadian travel counsellors and trade representatives at RIU’s recent Christmas luncheon – now an annual event, five years running – with partner Sunwing at the Jazz Bistro in Toronto.
Despite 2017 being a “challenging year” with “some bumps along the way” (notably Caribbean hurricanes and Mexico’s tainted drinks scandal), RIU’s director of business development & partner marketing, USA & Canada, Hugo Aguilera, pronounced 2017 to be an “exciting” time, not the least due to the successful opening of the Riu Dunamar resort in Playa Mujeres, Mexico, on Dec. 2.
A group of Sunwing-led agents visited the resort only four days after ribbon-cutting, with Aguilera explaining that scheduled trip was never in doubt for fear of construction delays. “As you know, we are always on time with our openings,” he laughed.
“Smooth openings” are just one example of RIU’s ongoing reliability, Aguilera noted, observing, “The things we announced last year [at the Christmas lunch] are already happening.”
Aguilera also reminded the audience that “everything is always evolving at growing” at RIU.
This includes a number of new enhancements at the Riu Republica in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, for the winter season, including the opening of a new Splash Water World waterpark, plus new restaurants, pools and rooms following an extensive expansion project on a property that only opened in 2016.
As for 2018, guests will be able to take advantage of free weddings (except for ministers’ fees) at the resort chain, along with new packages for honeymoons & anniversaries, birthdays, and bachelor/ette parties.
New openings in 2018 will include the Riu Palace Baja California in Mexico, while a number of properties will find it their turn for refurbishments as RIU continues to invest in its product.
Sunwing’s VP of retail sales Deanna Murphy, pointed out that the Canadian travel company is RIU’s number one producer and revealed that the Riu Republic is its top-selling individual. “For agents,” she said, “RIU is a very easy sell.”
Riu Dunamar in Playa Mujeres, Mexico, is the resort chain’s newest opening.