COM briefed about preparations for FCCA Cruise Conference & Trade Show. Calls on population to welcome the guests

The 21st Annual Florida Caribbean Cruise Association (FCCA) Cruise Conference and Trade Show will be held next week in St. Maarten from October 6 – 10, 2014.

This important event, which last took place on St. Maarten in 2003, will welcome more than 800 guests, including many high level cruise executives, government leaders and industry experts.

The last FCCA conference in 2003 in St. Maarten had a great impact on the development of the cruise line industry on the island.

The Council of Ministers (COM) received an update during a special meeting on Thursday, October 2, 2014, regarding the preparations of the event from the delegation from St. Maarten Harbour Group of Companies led by Chief Executive Officer Mr. Mark Mingo, Supervisory Board Member Mr. Renald Williams and Chief Financial Officer Mr. Ton van Kooten as well as the chairlady of the FCCA Coordinating Team Ms. Ichel Moeslikan.

Mr. Mingo informed the Council of the amount of work that has gone into the realization of the necessary infrastructure to host such a large conference and to cater to the needs of all who will be attending, while ensuring their safety and comfort in accordance to the FCCA rules and regulations.

At the Harbour a special conference structure has been erected which covers 7000 m2. Most guests will arrive over the weekend with the majority staying in selected hotels on the island.

On Monday the first events will take place with the official opening scheduled for Tuesday evening. Invitations to attend the conference were sent to both government officials, business representatives and the general public.

The Council was assured that the preparations, which started two years ago, are on schedule and that measures are in place to handle any possible calamity.

The FCCA coordinating team has involved local students to assist with the event. In addition, the local business community has supported the event with a variety of sponsorship efforts. TelEm, for example, provided the necessary telecommunication services required for the event.

St. Maarten and Saint Martin will jointly showcase the island during the conference. Both sides, like many in the business community, have underscored the importance and the opportunity created by the FCCA Conference to showcase what St. Maarten/Saint Martin has to offer to visiting tourists.

The Council of Ministers applauded the efforts of the Harbour Group of Companies to ensure that the FCCA Conference will be a memorable one with a long lasting impact on our economy.

The delegation thanked the Council for the cooperation of government, in particular from the tourist office, police, security, immigration and protocol.

As awareness of the importance of (cruise) tourism to our local economy should be present among everyone on the island, whether directly or indirectly involved, the Council requests the population to welcome the visiting guests with our customary friendliness which provides our island with the beloved name ‘St. Maarten, the Friendly Island’.