Riu On A Roll – Worldwide

with Martha Chapman

Riu’s Oliver Kluth, Senior Vice President Sales & Business Development

l-r Kluth; Valerie Ward, Riu’s BDM Ontario & Eric Rodrigues, V.P. Product Development, Sunwing Travel Group


Riu Playa Blanca Panama

Riu Times Square NYC

Riu is one of the best-selling all-inclusive resort groups here in Canada, and to reinforce their long-term relationship with their sole vendor, Signature Vacations, the Senior Vice President of Sales & Business Development Oliver Kluth recently visited Toronto.

“We’re now in our 4th year of marriage with The Sunwing Group,” smiled Kluth, “And so far it’s been plus-plus-plus.”   Signature outsells any of Riu’s American tour operator partners, with all hotels selling well but particularly the Playa Blanca in Panama, with Sunwing flights from multiple Canadian gateways in the winter.

Hospitality is in the DNA of the company, according to Kluth, who told us that the Riu family is now in its 3 rd generation of running the hotels, which started as a single property in Mallorca in 1952. There are now some 28,000 employees at their 110 properties.  “We are becoming more and more international,” says Kluth, adding that the 1 st long-haul hotel, in Mauritius, will open this year; Sri Lanka is slated for 2016 with the Maldives and Dubai both in the cards.

Another recent development is the opening of EP city properties, such as the one in Panama City, which makes for a very interesting dual centre holiday with its beachfront sister hotel. Other city hotels now include Berlin and their Times Square NYC property slated to open by the end of this year.

Within the all-inclusive beach resort group there are Riu properties and Riu Palaces. The difference? About 30% of the hotels are Riu Palaces and they have all the regular inclusions but also more a la carte options; micro-cuisine (teeny tastings) in the buffets; premium drinks; room service and turn-down service as well as WiFi not just in the hotel, as it is in Riu resorts, but also on the beach.

Any message for Canadian agents? “Consumers shouldn’t wait too long to book. Other markets such as Colombia and Chile are booking way ahead of last year and rooms are filling fast!”

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