Karlene Angus-Smith has been with Sandals’ Unique Vacations since September 2002, working her way up over the years to her current role as Associate Director of Industry Affairs.
Her new position allows her to work along with the Director of Industry Affairs, continuing to strengthen the working relationships with travel associations throughout the US.
Recently, Angus-Smith joined the board of the Family Travel Association, bringing more than 20 years of experience to the role. We asked Angus-Smith to introduce herself to the association!
Can you tell us first all about your role with your company and what you do?
I am the Associate Director of Industry Affairs for Unique Vacations Inc., an affiliate of the worldwide representative of Beaches Resorts. I work very closely with the ministers and tourism boards representing the beautiful Caribbean islands where Beaches Resorts operates to help build and maintain meaningful and impactful relationships between these destinations and travel associations throughout the United States, like the Family Travel Association. It’s such an incredible job!
What led you to join the FTA board?
Beaches Resorts wants families to experience the best that the Caribbean has to offer, and joining the Family Travel Association creates an opportunity to bring forward the incredible experience across Beaches Resorts. Joining the board has been an amazing way to connect with other industry leaders and future travelers who are just as passionate about promoting rich and meaningful family vacations as Beaches Resorts is in creating them.
Why are you passionate about family travel?
Family vacations and time away make for incredible memories, and Beaches Resorts is a brand built on just that. There is no better feeling than experiencing new destinations and cultures alongside the people you love. The memories are priceless and they last forever.
What’s one big issue you see the family travel industry tackling in 2024?
It’s not so much of an issue as it is a challenge that is being embraced: more and more hospitality brands are following suit and stepping up to ensure inclusivity in the industry for neurodivergent travelers. Beaches Resorts was the first resort company in the world to attain the Advanced Certified Autism Center (ACAC) designation from the International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards (IBCCES) and create the Caribbean’s first autism-friendly kids camps. Today, all Beaches locations offer resort sensory guides to identify low and high-sensory areas, one-on-one Beaches Buddies, pre-arrival travel support and more. There is always more work to be done and travelers can count on Beaches to continue to make strides in this space for everyone in 2024 and beyond.
And what are you excited about in 2024?
It’s going to be a year of milestones for Beaches Resorts—from celebrating a 20-year partnership with Sesame Street to brand new culinary experiences across all properties, the commemorative 15th anniversary of the brand’s philanthropic arm, the Sandals Foundation, and of course, joining the Family Travel Association.
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