TULUM, Mexico — Pleasant Holidays is focused on growth and expansion, announcing new destinations, hotel partnerships and strong bookings for 2022 at its annual retreat for top-selling travel advisors.

CEO Jack Richards said Indonesia, Malaysia and the Maldives are new Asian destinations from June. The company currently offers packages in Thailand, Singapore, Hong Kong, Vietnam, Cambodia, and Japan. Pleasant Holidays will also start offering China as a destination in 2023.

“We kept the business going for two and a half years,” Richards said, recalling the limits the pandemic had placed on Pleasant Holidays’ ability to grow its business. “So now we are growing again and we will continue to grow.”

South Africa will join Pleasant Holidays’ list of destinations in August and will be the company’s first offering in Africa.

“We are in 64 countries now, we will probably be up to 70 [by 2023]“, said Richards.

Richards unveiled Pleasant Holidays’ growth plans exclusively for Travel Weekly during the company’s Pleasant Holidays Elite Experience retreat for its 50 top-selling travel advisors in 2021. The live event returned after a two-year hiatus. .

This year, the four-day Elite Experience event was held at the new Hilton Tulum Riviera Maya. The Hilton Tulum, which opened in May, has 735 rooms, eight pools, 13 concept-focused restaurants and a 55,000-square-foot convention center, all spread over acres of beachfront. The all-inclusive resort is part of Pleasant Holidays hotel offerings in Mexico.

Mexico continues to be strong

Mexico continues to be Pleasant Holidays’ top-selling destination. The company has all-inclusive resort partners in six of the country’s most popular destinations: Los Cabos, Cancun, Riviera Maya, Playa del Carmen, Puerto Vallarta and Riviera Nayarit.

And bookings in Mexico haven’t slowed even as competing destinations have reopened to tourism, Richards said.
Hawaii is the top-selling destination for attractions and excursions.

“We had a gentleman from Mexico who bought $76,000 worth of activities just in Hawaii for a week,” Richards said. “Business sales are up across the board.”

Jonathan Onofre (right), business development manager for Riu Hotels & Resorts, speaks with travel advisors at the Pleasant Holidays Elite Experience retreat. Photo credit: Nicole Edenedo

New hotel partners are also part of the expansion of Pleasant Holidays.

“During the pandemic, we added several hotel chains to our portfolio, such as Shangri-La,” Richards said. “Belmond has just arrived. We are in negotiations with probably three or four others at the moment. We will continue to add hotel partners.”

Europe will be a major focus

Europe is going to play an important role in the holiday wholesaler’s growth plans in the future. And now that Europe has mostly reopened and many countries continue to drop Covid testing and entry requirements, Richards said Pleasant’s priority will be to build a stronger presence in Europe.

“Europe is going to be a major focus for us,” Richards said. “We have 700 hotels in Europe today. I’m looking at over a thousand. We’ve added secondary cities in England, France and Italy, in places like Liverpool and Manchester in England; Lyon, Strasbourg in France; and Tuscany in Italy. We will continue to develop in Italy.”

Richards added: “I think the last report I saw was that almost 80 million Americans flew to Europe in 2018 or 2019. The opportunity for us is there. We are fishing where there is find the fish.”