Luxury resort Casa de Campo in the Dominican Republic is planning more agency fam trips as part of its drive to boost the number of guests from the UK.
About 10% of customers visiting the complex on the southeastern coast of the Dom Rep come from the UK, but ‘double-digit’ growth in the British market is expected, thanks to its trade marketing efforts.
The 7,000-acre resort recently opened a ‘start-of-the-art’ spa and wellness centre, as well as its Premier Club, featuring 58 new suites and private concierge service.
Casa de Campo is now planning celebrations to mark its 50th anniversary, as well as improvements to its famous Teeth of the Dog golf course (pictured) and swimming pools.
Jason Kycek, sales and marketing senior vice-president, said: “The UK market and our partnership with the UK travel agency community has been a top priority for us and an area we have invested heavily in, to support and grow.
“There is so much untapped opportunity for us both, and our travel agent partners have been instrumental in helping us share the unique aspects of Casa de Campo and the Dominican Republic to their clients.”
He said British visitor numbers are increasing every year and include the likes of former prime minister Boris Johnson – as well as families and golfers.
“Currently, only 10% of our sales come from the UK market; however, it is an important percentage for us,” he said.
Kycek said the resort started to increase its UK numbers in 2017, shortly after his arrival at Casa de Campo.
“When we first started developing this market, it was non-existent, so we literally have grown it from ground zero,” he added.
“It is quickly gaining momentum and we continue to see double-digit growth being realistically achieved in the years ahead.”
The UK sales team is led by sales and marketing director Colin Pegler, said Kycek.
“[He] has done an outstanding job in helping us build the right partnerships and bring the right clients to Casa de Campo,” he added.
“In addition to attending the key trade shows, sales calls and office training, we are investing heavily with key tour operators in marketing and coordinating ongoing fam trips.
“I am a firm believer in having our clients and partners come to visit the property and experience it first-hand.
“Once people see Casa de Campo for the first time, we hear the same comments over and over again – that they had no idea a luxury property like this one existed anywhere let alone in the Dominican Republic.”
B2B operators which feature Casa de Campo include Lusso Travel, Azure Collection, JTA Travel, Gold Medal, Caribtours and Trailfinders, and flights are offered by British Airways and Tui.
Kycek said the destination’s tourist board is “working hard” to support the UK airlines to add more services.
“I believe it is only a matter of time before we start to see increased lift into the country,” he added.
“The Dominican Republic has so much potential as a destination that the majority of tourists have yet to discover, but are quickly hearing about.
“It truly is an emerging market for the UK, especially within the high-end luxury markets that we are focused on building.
“We thankfully are continuing to see strong demand for the remainder of the year and into 2024. Our biggest obstacle is having enough air lift for guests to get here.”
Picture credits: Casa de Campo Resort & Villas
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