Harbour Group opens commercial department

St. Maarten Harbour Group recently soft opened of its Commercial Department in the John Craane Cruise Terminal. The department will oversee sales and marketing, yachting and cruise operations.  

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Tourism and Economic Affairs Minister Romeo Pantophlet and members of his cabinet were given an outline of the department’s responsibilities was given to by Harbour Group CEO Mark Mingo prior to a tour of the department’s office. Department’s team comprises Rosina Romeo, Ichel Moeslikan and Alexander Gumbs.

Pantophlet pledged his support for the commercial department and its goal "to move forward in a positive direction."

Pantophlet was concerned about yacht charters from the country because of the fees charged. Moeslikan, who recently joined the harbour group with more than ten years experience in the yachting sector, said more of the complaints from captains are about the dockage fee at the marinas, rather than the bridge fees levied by the harbour group. She said the department would have to work with the marinas on ways to sustain and create new yachting business for the country.

Cruise passenger satisfaction will also be the purview of this department; from handling of complaints to anticipating needs of harbour group clients. A focus on collection and analysis of statistics will also be a core task. Those numbers will help identify further projects for the harbour group based on trends and evolving niches.

High on the department’s agenda is the cruise conversion programme. Similar programmes were tried at least three times in the past with no success. Mingo is confident of success this time round with the support of St. Maarten Tourist Bureau and Princess Juliana International Airport.

The minister was presented with a large photo showing all six berths at the two cruise piers occupied by cruise ships, including Royal Caribbean’s behemoth Allure of the Seas to mark the opening.