Marketing Summit

The St. Maarten Tourism Bureau together with the St. Maarten Hospitality and Trade Association (SHTA) recently hosted the Strategic Marketing Summit with the main theme ‘Marketing & Promoting St. Maarten Moving Forward’. Amongst the attendees were managers from several hotel properties, activities and tour providers, together with representatives from Princess Juliana International Airport, Port St. Maarten, Chamber of Commerce, French Tourist Office, PDP Marina, St. Maarten Yacht Club and Expedia. In addition, representatives from several executive entities within the Ministry of TEATT were also present to participate.
Minister of TEATT the Honorable Minister Cornelius de Weever was briefly present to express his gratitude towards the organizers and attendees. He emphasized the importance of such summit and looks forward to the input of all stakeholders in building back the tourism industry better than before.
Many stakeholders were able to voice their opinions and determine key components that should be in place in order to be able to move forward post Hurricane Irma. Several topics were discussed including; the appropriate timeline to resume marketing campaigns, different niche markets that should be focused on, improving visitors experience, highlighting unpopular tourist attractions and locations, stimulating more on island collaborations between different entities, dealing with the reality of job losses, providing hospitality trainings, as well as collecting and sharing data on key tourism related metrics.
It was established that focus should continue to be on positive PR both online and offline and that the product development of the island should be critically examined and improved while putting emphasis on hospitality trainings. Moreover, consensus was found that PR and marketing efforts must be in proportion with accommodation availability and flight capacity. The ideas and solutions brought forward will be examined by the St. Maarten Tourism Bureau and will be incorporated in the ministry’s initiatives where possible. The pragmatic approach and commitment by all stakeholders was evident and will be the way forward in the recovery process.