Sandals severs ties with Funjet Vacations

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Lagoon suites at the Sandals Halcyon Beach in St. Lucia.
Lagoon suites at the Sandals Halcyon Beach in St. Lucia.

Funjet Vacations will no longer sell Sandals and Beaches resorts effective May 26, as Sandals Resorts International has terminated its distribution agreement with the packager.

Sandals' decision follows similar actions taken with companies that are part of Apple Leisure Group. Apple Leisure Group and Mark Travel Corporation (Funjet's parent) completed their merger on Tuesday.

In 2015, after 34 years of working together, Sandals severed its relationship with Travel Impressions. Apple Leisure Group had acquired Travel Impressions in 2013. In 2010, Sandals terminated its wholesaler agreement with Apple Vacations. CheapCaribbean.com, acquired by Apple Leisure Group in 2013, also doesn't sell Sandals.

Sandals had never publicly stated why it has severed ties with Apple Leisure Group packagers.

Sandals will honor all Funjet bookings made prior to May 26. "Agents can be confident that these reservations will be managed in the normal way," said Unique Vacations, Sandals' marketing and sales arm.

In a message to travel agents, Sandals senior vice president of sales Gary Sadler said, "We did not make this decision lightly, and as you know, Sandals has held a longstanding and remarkable relationship with Funjet Vacations. They were instrumental in helping Sandals Resorts establish its brand."

Mark Travel chief engagement officer Bill LaMacchia Jr. said that Mark Travel "respects the decision by Sandals and Beaches to end our long-standing business relationship."

"Sandals is a hotel company that has committed its brand to our agents' success and to the experience of each of our customers while in destination, and we are honored to have been a part of that for many years," LaMacchia said.

LaMacchia said Mark Travel plans to add resort inventory to strengthen its position in the marketplace. He encouraged agents to reach out to their business development managers with any questions about Sandals' decision.

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