Gay Nagle Myers
Gay Nagle Myers

"I love my job; it's the best job ever," said Louise Bang, regional vice president of sales & distribution, Caribbean, Mexico & Latin America, for Marriott International.

Bang oversees sales teams that encompass 300-plus hotels across 21 brands in the 37 countries that make up Marriott's Caribbean and Latin America region.

Within the Caribbean, Marriott brands have a large presence, with properties in St. Thomas, the Cayman Islands, Aruba, the Dominican Republic, Jamaica, Haiti, the British Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico and Barbados, plus the Bahamas and Bermuda.

The Caribbean and Latin America region, Bang said, is home to 10% of Marriott's luxury portfolio.

"If [it] were a continent, it would be Marriott's largest in terms of properties and area," she said.

The U.S. is the largest source market for the region, and nowadays it is the recipient of business and bookings due to a surge in demand for travel, according to Bang.

"People now are keen to travel, and with many restrictions lifted, special occasions that had been postponed due to Covid are now being celebrated," Bang said.

"We are seeing a big uptick in luxury travel, longer stays and heightened interest in more offsite experiences that bring the heritage, history and gastronomy of the region into sharper focus."

She specifically cited booking upticks within the Caribbean, Mexico, Costa Rica, Panama and Peru.

More resorts in the works

Bang said that there's more to come among the brands that offer all-inclusive resorts, in addition to the growth in Marriott's luxury properties and the trend for bleisure (business combined with leisure travel) and gleisure (group leisure travel).

"We have many hotels in development," she said. "During Covid we opened in Turks and Caicos and Bermuda. A JW Marriott opened in early May in Sao Paulo, Brazil, another in Monterrey, Mexico, and we have a Westin opening this fall in St. Thomas."

A focus on travel advisors

A 20-year veteran of the travel industry with more than 15 years spent in various positions within Ritz-Carlton, Bang's focus is sales strategy, "how to make it easy and convenient to recommend our hotels to our customers," she said.

She attributed success in the Caribbean and Latin America region to the strategies, promotions and marketing initiatives implemented by the sales teams she oversees to inspire travel to the region.

Travel advisors are crucial to Marriott's business in the region. "Our sales teams are well-positioned within the region to work with advisors on training programs, all-inclusive offerings, easy access to rates and assistance when and where needed," she said.

"It's still of time of adjustment as we all come out of the two years of Covid, but my sales teams and I are focused on creating seamless travel for our customers," she said, adding that they are in "constant communication with our travel advisors so everyone knows what to expect when traveling these days and how to manage any unexpected bumps in the road."

That's a tall task, given the high numbers of hotels, resorts and brands on Bang's radar as well as the physical size of Caribbean and Latin America region; but then again, she loves her job and her teams.

Comments

From Our Partners


From Our Partners

An Insider’s Look at the Globus family of brands and Avalon Waterways, featuring Camille Olivere
An Insider’s Look at the Globus family of brands and Avalon Waterways, featuring Camille Olivere
Watch Now
The Luxury Advisor
The Luxury Advisor
Read More
KLM Introduces Premium Comfort
KLM Introduces Premium Comfort
Watch Now

JDS Travel News JDS Viewpoints JDS Africa/MI