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Spirits were high at the 11th annual Karisma Hotels & Resorts’ Gourmet Inclusive Vacation Consultants (GIVC) Awards, where the company’s top-performing travel advisors gathered to celebrate their successes.
Held Dec. 5 to 8 at El Dorado Royale, A Spa Resort by Karisma — which is located outside of Playa del Carmen in Riviera Maya, Mexico — the event drew 600 advisors and their guests, as well as executives, media and more.
“We are incredibly proud to have welcomed our valued travel agent partners to Karisma’s 11th annual Gourmet Inclusive Vacation Consultant Awards and Sales & Marketing Forum,” said Kelly Poling, senior vice president of marketing for Karisma. “It was a memorable celebration to honor the exceptional work and dedication of the industry’s top travel professionals. Our travel agent partners are an instrumental part of Karisma’s ongoing success. As we continue rapid global growth, we look forward to building upon our relationship with them to deliver valuable tools, enhanced programs and offers, authentic experiences and exceptional new properties around the world.”
A formal gala on the final night recognized GIVC Awards recipients, and a sales and marketing forum shared Karisma’s plans for growth in Mexico and beyond.
Such strategies include Xolumado Inspiration Village, which was first announced at last year’s GIVC. This year’s affair featured a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the new hotel, and Karisma executives revealed that Xolumado is set to officially open to the public on Jan. 7. Located steps away from Generations Riviera Maya by Karisma, the intimate property sits on 2.5 acres and features 41 cottage-style suites set among lush interwoven gardens and mangroves. Accommodation categories include Serenity Suites, which have a palm-thatched roof and an open terrace; Zen Garden Suites, which feature a private balcony; and Tranquility Suites, which consist of two adjoining Zen Garden Suites. The resort’s colorful, fun decor reflects that of traditional Mexican homes, though modern touches elevate the guest experience, as well.
While on property, Xolumado guests will have access to a pool and cabanas on the nearby beach, as well as the a-la-carte Xolumado Restaurant BBQ & Bar. For an added perk, they can also enjoy the amenities of nearby Generations Riviera Maya, including five restaurants, three bars, lounges, a pool with a swim-up bar, a spa, a kids’ club and more.
However, if clients are seeking a tranquility-filled retreat, they may choose to stay put: Xolumado offers wellness activities such as outdoor breathing exercises, daily yoga, Pilates, meditation sessions, massage lessons and a “Shh Experience” that features sound-healing therapy. Guests can also sign up for cooking classes, tequila and mezcal tastings, pottery painting and more.
Other ongoing brand-wide developments for Karisma include Margaritaville, whose partnership with Karisma launched in February 2017, and a second Nickelodeon Hotels & Resorts property that will open next to Generations Riviera Maya in 2020.
Our travel agent partners are an instrumental part of Karisma’s ongoing success. As we continue rapid global growth, we look forward to building upon our relationship with them to deliver valuable tools, enhanced programs and offers, authentic experiences and exceptional new properties around the world.
During the forum, Marilyn Cairo, Karisma’s director of retail sales for North America, said that the very first Margaritaville Island Reserve All-Inclusive Experience will open in the Riviera Maya. Additionally, the Jimmy Buffet brand is reinventing itself to attract millennials, and will be partnering with college dorms to create “margarita dorms.”
Meanwhile, Nickelodeon Hotels & Resorts Riviera Maya will feature 276 oceanfront, swim-up suites, plus four signature penthouses that each have an infinity pool and a Nickelodeon-themed design.
Adam Malcolm, senior vice president of Karisma, told attendees that 2019 will have approximately 520,000 fewer seats flying into Mexico — Mexico City and Cancun, specifically.
“It’s easy to sell things that are doing well,” he said. “When it gets tough, that’s when we ask for your support.”
Outside of Mexico, Karisma is also expanding in Colombia. The brand currently has three Allure hotels by Karisma properties, including Allure Bonbon, Allure Chocolat and Allure Canela; all are located in the port city of Cartagena. However, the newest property to join Karisma’s Colombia collection is the Irotama Resort. Karisma now manages the luxury all-inclusive property, which sits on Rodadero Beach in Santa Marta, Colombia.
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