Catch hotel business

Since its inception more than 16 years ago, Karisma Hotel & Resorts has remained steadfast in its commitment to agents. “Ninety-nine percent of our business comes through agents,” said Mandy Chomat, Karisma’s executive vice president. “We know their value. And that’s why we’re paying 21 percent.”

To earn commissions of 21 percent, agents must become certified as Gourmet Inclusive Vacation Consultants (GIVC). “We don’t want just anybody – we want agents who are committed to us and are really going to promote our product,” Chomat said. “We do things for GIVC agents that we don’t do for other travel agents, so they always have a competitive edge. And that’s really our driving force.”

Agents interested in capturing a larger share of Karisma business will find that the company’s brands appeal to a wide range of travelers. Here are four niches you should consider targeting.

WEDDINGS

“If agents are looking into the wedding space they’ll see that our wedding offerings are extremely competitive and our commissions are higher than the norm,” said Chomat.

Karisma features a three-night “Brides Dress Rehearsal” program, enabling couples to meet with onsite photographers, musicians, florists and the wedding team. They are able to sample menus, wedding cakes, and signature cocktails and wine pairings. Cost is $699 per couple. Couples receive $500 wedding credits when they book 10 or more rooms.

Karisma’s “Gourmet Inclusive Wedding Events” program provides couples with cuisine and beverage options, an array of ceremony locations, an onsite wedding planner, playlists and chef pairings. It features the “Memorable Moments Signature Wedding Collection,” with six themed options for weddings.

ROMANCE

“The El Dorado brand is for that adult traveler who really wants exceptional food, service and experiences to reignite the romance that we all start with. Everything is catered to what I call ‘perfecting connecting,’” said Chomat. “Everything’s catered to get people to just relax, take a step back and enjoy each other’s company. Besides all the amenities we have – whether it’s day beds in the casitas, the swim-up suites, the infinity pools – it’s just a romantic setting for adults.”

Last year, Karisma upped the ante on its romance offerings with the debut of 30 overwater bungalows, or palafitos, at El Dorado Maroma. In addition to stunning ocean views, the palafitos feature glass-bottom floors, private infinity pools, indoor Jacuzzis and large decks with lounge chairs.

“These are the first and only over-the-water offerings in all of Latin America, eliciting a one-of-a-kind experience for travelers seeking the ultimate luxury getaway – whether it’s to celebrate a honeymoon, birthday, anniversary, or for no reason at all but to become immersed in nature and be pampered with the finest hospitality,” Chomat said.