SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) - Interim Head of the St. Maarten Tourist Bureau May-Ling Chun, is moving forward with plans to improve the cooperation and collaboration between key stakeholders in the Hospitality Industry, with a monthly strategic destination marketing meeting between SHTA and STB, aimed at maximizing the marketing potential for the destination, and creating a sustainable marketing action plan.
The re-establishment of the monthly strategy meeting with the St. Maarten Hospitality & Trade Association (SHTA) is a significant step towards reviewing and improving the activities surrounding, revitalizing the destination, and determining areas where marketing efforts can be focused to increase visitor arrival
The first meeting was held on August 29th between STB and the SHTA’s Destination Marketing Committee. According to Chun, the sessions will form a significant part of the public, private partnership initiative to promote St. Maarten, “and it was an easy decision since I know firsthand that this strategy worked very well many years ago” and contributed to a vibrant tourism product.
The collaboration is also in keeping with the strategic approach to destination revitalization outlined by Tourism Minister Stuart Johnson, who has advocated public, private partnerships as a critical means of ensuring St. Maarten's recovery, post-Irma and Maria, is swift and sustainable. During the first destination marketing meeting the main topic of discussion was the future of the Sint Maarten / Saint Martin Regional Tradeshow (SMART), which brings together local and regional hotel operators and many Travel Writers, Travel agents and Event planners from America, Canada and Europe in St. Maarten.
The group also discussed improving the destination's online marketing presence, producing a comprehensive communication and logistics operational manual, and reestablishing old target markets, while creating strategies for attracting new markets. One of the outcomes of the meeting was the planned collaboration between SHTA and the STB on the production of the SHTA’s national events calendar, which promotes many activities taking place on St. Maarten/St. Martin.
The Tourism Bureau shared information on upcoming international marketing events that it has committed to being part of along with the Bureau’s marketing strategy for 2018-2020 and beyond. Both SHTA and the STB have agreed to work jointly on establishing a joint marketing strategy for St. Maarten.
“We have an opportunity to redevelop St. Maarten’s tourism model exactly how we would like it to be with a short-term vision that brings us back to par by 2020, and a long-term vision of creating a well-balanced tourism product and destination in which all stakeholders and the entire community can benefit,” said Chun.