Key public and private sector entities briefed by Port St. Maarten Coordinating Team about FCCA Conference & Tradeshow

The Port St. Maarten Coordinating Team for the 21st Florida Caribbean Cruise Conference (FCCA) Conference & Tradeshow on Wednesday morning gave a presentation to key invited private and public sector entities at the Cruise Terminal Building in Pointe Blanche about the preparations for the conference.
From October 6-10 more than 1000 cruise industry partners, including close to 100 cruise executives, will be visiting the destination during that one week period.
For cruise executives, ports and destinations, cruise and tourism agencies, attractions, ship agents, suppliers and tour operators, the annual FCCA Cruise Conference & Trade Show is the premier industry event of the year to meet key industry players, analyse trends and discuss current issues.
The official hotel for FCCA event is the Westin Dawn Beach Resort & Spa. Bookings at the hotel for the conference week in October are very strong with more than 60 per cent already reserved.
It has been 10-years (2003) since the destination hosted a similar conference. The FCCA Conference & Tradeshow of 2014 will be on a much larger scale as the aforementioned has grown over the years.
Destination St. Maarten outbid several South American countries in order to host the 2014 conference and tradeshow.
“I am very pleased that we have anchored the official hotel for the conference. We looked at various properties and also held discussions with them and came to a decision. We had to look at logistics as well, and that the hotel is close to the conference and tradeshow venue which will be on the grounds of the Dr. A.C. Wathey Cruise & Cargo Facility,” Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the St. Maarten Harbour Group of Companies Mark Mingo said on Wednesday.
One of the important aspects of the event is to have approximately 100 young and new start-up entrepreneurs be a part of the conference which is an initiative of Port St. Maarten. These individuals will be provided with access cards and more information will be provided with respect to this.
“The 21st FCCA Conference & Tradeshow is an opportunity for local businesses to showcase themselves at the conference as this is a business to business event. This year Port St. Maarten is celebrating 50-years of cruise. We need to re-invent cruise St. Maarten and this has to come from young and upcoming entrepreneurs as well as those with experience.
“We are at the end of the product life cycle of cruise, and we need to be innovative and offer different types of tours, shore side events, products etc. that would continue to keep us ahead as a premiere cruise destination in the Caribbean.
“Destination St. Maarten/St. Martin hosting and organizing the 21st FCCA Conference & Tradeshow will also have an economic spin-off for small, medium and big business. It’s an event that everybody should embrace to make it one of the best ever.
“When the conference delegates leave our shores, they should continue to talk about what a great conference and destination experience they had. I am very excited and looking forward to welcoming the 1000 cruise industry stakeholders to our Friendly Island shores,” CEO Mark Mingo said on Wednesday.
The invitees to the presentation also included members of the harbour’s Board of Supervisory Directors, a representative from the Cabinet of the Minister of Tourism & Economic Affairs, Transportation and Telecommunication, Tourist Bureau, Taxi Associations, the St. Maarten Hospitality & Trade Association, Hotel property reps, French side rep, and management from the various harbour group of companies.
The Port of St. Maarten is ranked one of the highest in growth in cruise passengers as well as cruise passenger expenditure levels. Last year the Port of St. Maarten received 1,785.670 cruise passengers, 32,455 passengers more than in 2012. Cruise passengers arrived on 631 vessel calls for 2013.