Stakeholders in the hospitality industry on French and Dutch St. Maarten have united for one common goal of sustainably rebuilding the tourism destination. The group recently held their sixth meeting on the anniversary of Hurricane Irma which devastated the island one year ago on September 6.
Six months ago, the group of Tourism, Destination Promotion and Marketing experts formed a workgroup consisting of industry experts in various areas of hospitality on both sides of the island, under the initiative of the Princess Juliana International Airport, PJIA. They have since then been able to use the once monthly meeting as a means of sharing information on best practices and challenges with the aim of collectively moving St. Maarten back into its leading role as an economically stable tourism destination.
On Friday the group was hosted by Port St. Maarten which is one of the participants. The meetings are routinely chaired by PJIA Chief Financial Officer/Acting Chief Executive Officer Ravi Daryanani with significant participation from French Tourism Bureau Director and First Vice President of the Collectivite de Saint Martin Valerie Damaseau. Other meetings have also been chaired by Chief Operations Officer for PJIA Mr. Michel Hyman.
In attendance for the sixth meeting was Senior Policy Advisor for the Minister of Tourism, Economic Affairs, Traffic & Transportation TEATT Ms Regina Labega and Interim Head of the St. Maarten Tourist Bureau May-Ling Chun, along with representatives of the Grand Case Airport and Dutch and French St. Maarten hoteliers.
Chun said, “These type of initiatives amongst stakeholders’ results in productive cooperation in various areas not only marketing but also helps us to better focus on the common vision of rebuilding our tourism model bigger and better.” She commended the PJIA for the initiative of brining the group together and said “when there is synergy between all partners on both the Northern and Southern part of the island, it shows unison, productivity, and it has positive effect.”