Philosophy of hotel charisma

When Karisma Hotels & Resorts Executive Vice President Mandy Chomat was asked what he attributed the company’s ongoing success to, he wasted no time with his answer. “The philosophy was always to deliver a better all-inclusive experience,” he said. “One of the key objectives was to go after the market attuned to exceptional food and service, which is what we’re known for.”

But Chomat stressed that was just part of the equation. “The other objective was to train a distribution system of agents that would be different from anything else out there,” he said. In 2008, Karisma created the Gourmet Inclusive Vacation Consultants (GIVC) program to attract these high-caliber travel advisors, who are paid 21 percent commissions.

In addition to those high commissions, GIVC agents are privy to exclusive offers for their clients that are not available to non-GIVC agents or OTAs. “We want to work with travel agents who want to market themselves to consumers, and we’re here to help with any marketing assistance they need,” Chomat. “Agents are really important to us, because we recognize that when somebody really knows our product and how to sell it, the consumer has a better experience with the product.”

Going forward, Karisma will need that travel agent distribution system more than ever, as it significantly expands its reach beyond Mexico’s Riviera Maya. In all, the company plans to add nine resorts to its portfolio of 26 properties, virtually doubling its room count from 4,592 to 9,424 by 2021.

“To stay in the game you have to expand,” Chomat said. “Up until two years ago agents could only sell us in the Riviera Maya. For agents to be successful we had to give them products to sell beyond a single destination.”

The company plans to debut three properties in Jamaica, two in the Dominican Republic, and one each in Antigua and Huatulco, Mexico.