GREAT BAY, Sint Maarten (DCOMM) – As part of the St. Maarten Tourist Bureau (STB) Caribbean Tourism Day/Month awareness campaign, Alexander Gumbs, is one of the nation’s young tourism professionals working in the industry.
Alexander Gumbs, is a young 27-year old enthusiastic and dedicated member of Port St. Maarten Group of Companies.
He currently functions as Business Development Officer within the Commercial Department.
“Alex” has lived and studied in the province of Groningen, the Netherlands for more than six years, and majored in Marketing & Sales with a specialty in Retailing & Franchising. While in the Netherlands friends and acquaintances frequently asked “But why you gone to study all up there, but you living on a farm man or Boyyy I aint coming to visit you on no three hour train ride”.
But for Alex that was the zen, knowing that there weren’t much distractions around and being able to focus two on his goals. In contrary to what a lot of persons thought, Groningen was a fantastic student city (actually rated real high) and the University ranked third best in the Netherlands.
Alex further explained that he is currently busy with other courses and aspire to obtain additional degrees in the future. This of course entails a lot of sacrifices however he is a firm believer in hard work which pays off.
“I think our younger generations, despite the perception of many are passionate about becoming someone better than they were just the day before.
“That also reflects in the mind set of being able to better cater to the tourism business by having more professional industry employees on the various corporate layers.
“I grew up in Belvedere and many times had to explain my peers about the industry and encourage them to get involved by either being an entrepreneur or by joining an existing private or public company.
“I think we should all collectively and actively speak of the importance of tourism in general for country St. Maarten. One would think, if I rob a tourist at least I might have gotten some money or valuables which will help their household.
“However due to the snowball effect, someone else in the same household may have had a job in the tourism industry and because of the increase in crime if the island loses arriving cruise or stayover tourists it will trickle down to the person being laid off because of the downturn in the economy. A complete picture of that story is yet to be painted and explained from a kindergarten level in schools.
“We, the next generation have to be better than the ones before us, of course with their guidance and golden advice. We also have to be more courteous overall as the competing islands are gaining the edge on us as service in general remains a challenge on island,” Alex Gumbs pointed out based on his experience in working in the cruise industry.
Alex said with his deep passion for the tourism industry, from high school days he admired tourism and more specifically the cruise sector, and he always wanted to do his projects about cruise tourism.
“All of my diplomas has Cruise Tourism as the ending project, coincidental I thought after having noticed this while living in the Netherlands,” Alex added.
In 2010 Alex did his internship at Port St. Maarten, and the following year got the opportunity to complete his thesis also at Port St. Maarten titled, “Winning in a competitive environment.”
The thesis catered to the cruise segment in an effort for the destination to maintain its competitive edge in the region while showcasing the Friendly Island of St. Maarten.
In 2012 Alex graduated and immediately returned to St. Maarten to take up the position at Port St. Maarten and assist in pushing the company’s strategic vision and mission full speed ahead along with a dedicated team.
“The beauty of my current job scope is it entails one being extremely flexible as tasks can change daily which creates new learning experiences. Since at the Port, I am honored for being able to work with various local and international industry stakeholders on various projects. Being able to walk on the facility and see cruise passengers smile, and being anxious to exit the facility gates to explore the friendly island encourages me to keep pushing ahead and keep the focus on the big picture.
“Being able to be part of a team that imports almost everything to the island, and learn from that dedicated team, keeps me motivated. Being able to welcome yachts that can’t enter into the lagoon who use to go to competing islands, motivates me to continue to work hard on keeping our port number one,” Alex Gumbs explains.
“I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Chief Executive Officer of Port St. Maarten Mark Mingo, for his mentorship since I enjoyed the company. His passion and drive for the country’s cruise and cargo sector developments, and keeping St. Maarten ahead, is an energy that keeps everybody at Port St. Maarten together on one mission with a vision to continue to be number one,” Alex Gumbs pointed out.
Alex said he doesn’t only enjoy working within the Cruise business pillar but also the other core and strategic areas at the Port St. Maarten Group of Companies, namely Cargo, Yachting & Real Estate, and will continue pushing to assist where needed within Port St. Maarten Group of Companies.
This profile is one out of eight as part of the St. Maarten Tourist Bureau Caribbean Tourism Month awareness campaign.
PHOTO CUTLINE: Alexander Gumbs.