PHILIPSBURG:— In November of 2015, several agencies were invited to participate in a bidding process to represent St. Maarten in the Benelux (Belgium, Netherlands, Luxemburg) Market. After a vigorous selection process, the firm Aviareps was unanimously chosen. Aviareps is a full-service agency located in the Netherlands that specializes in marketing, sales, advertising, and promotion in the tourism, hospitality, aviation, and trade sectors.
Aviareps will now be responsible for the destination marketing, trade advertising, social media/website content development, branding and public relations activities for St. Maarten in the Benelux Market. By these means Aviareps will aid in increasing the awareness of St. Maarten by highlighting what the Island has to offer, further enticing potential visitors from those European Countries to select St. Maarten as their preferred vacation destination choice.
“We are proud to be able to add St. Maarten to our client portfolio. It is a beautiful island that offers more diversity than many people realize. We look forward to promoting the destination in the coming years, together with the St. Maarten Tourist Bureau and their partners, as a preferred vacation destination for many in the Benelux.” Stated Martijn Strijker, General Manager of Aviareps Benelux.
The appointment of Aviareps is expected to have an immediate positive effect on the total number of visitors to the Island, which can be attributed to their experience, their expertise, and their extensive network of affiliates, together with the already existing demand and interest to visit the island from the Benelux Market. The Benelux Union is a viable market for the St Maarten Tourist Bureau to focus on, since their passion for travel is undeniable. Most of the population is multi-lingual and they are by nature frequent, and thus experienced world travelers. Added to that is the fact that employed staff in those countries are entitled to over 25 paid vacation days annually, and receive a vacation allowance in the month of May and June. This would make it even more financially feasible for those employees to visit St Maarten during those months, which represents part of our off-season, a time when we most need to increase our visitor arrivals.
In addition, airlines such as KLM, TUI and Air France are already collectively servicing the Island with frequent, direct flights from Amsterdam and Paris, making the Island easily accessible. St Maarten Tourist Bureau will be forging a closer marketing partnership with KLM and TUI in order to increase airlift from the Netherlands. With the cooperation between St. Maarten Tourist Bureau, Aviareps, and the above-mentioned airlines, the total number of visitors to St. Maarten from the Benelux market is expected to increase substantially, which will have a great economic impact for the Island.
“The Benelux market remains one of our key source markets. Having Aviareps on board as our tourism marketing representative will have many value-added benefits that will further develop our involvement and presence in the European market, ultimately helping us to achieve our goal of increasing the brand awareness within that market, and bringing more visitors to our Island.” stated Minister of Tourism, Hon. Ingrid Arrindell.