Aviation conference returns to St. Maarten | THE DAILY HERALD

Former TEATT Minister Mellissa Arrindell-Doncher with her cabinet staff, former Tourism Bureau head Rolando Brison and Caribbean Aviation Meetup Coordinator of Events Bud Slabbaert at Sonesta Maho Beach Resort during the Aviation Meet Up award ceremony back in 2017.

PHILIPSBURG–Residents and business enthusiasts, particularly those with interest in the aviation industry, are encouraged to sign up for the fourth annual Caribbean Aviation Meetup conference, which will be held on in St. Maarten/St. Martin June 11-13.

The conference was held on-island two years ago before the island was hit by hurricanes, and was supported by several major local and international companies. The Department of Civil Aviation and Maritime Services in the Ministry of Tourism, Economic Affairs, Transport and Telecommunication (TEATT) is promoting importance of the event.

TEATT Minister Stuart Johnson said on Tuesday, “St. Maarten is actively engaged in redeveloping its tourism product post-[Hurricane – Ed.] Irma and the aviation industry, and in particular the reconstruction of the Princess Juliana International Airport [PJIA] to include US pre-clearance, is paramount.”

“Considering the importance of Air Transport to the future of our tourism economy, forums such as Caribbean Aviation Meetup provide our people with access to vital information that will aid in the redevelopment of PJIA to meet and improve our aviation standards.”

The Caribbean Aviation Meetup conference CARIBAVIA is a result- and solutions-oriented communication platform for stakeholders of airlift – the aviation and tourism industries. The conference venue is Simpson Bay Resort and Marina where the sessions on the first and third day, as well as the social events, will take place.

On the second conference day, the meetings will be held at Grand Case Airport and an exclusive “summit” on luxury tourism will be organised and hosted by St. Barths for a limited number of participants.

The topics of this year’s 30 sessions will vary from “Friendly Skies; Liberalising Airlift in the Caribbean” to “Regional Airport Design for a Profit-Making Concept”, and from “Re-Energising Destination Marketing” to “Training and Mentoring to Service a Demanding Clientele” and “U.S. Preclearance”. There will also be Air Traffic Control Tower tours at PJIA.

“The opportunity to get best practice information from some of the top aviation experts in the region and internationally cannot be understated,” explained Johnson. At present, the Department of Civil Aviation and Maritime Services in St. Maarten is working towards regaining its category 1 Status.

“This will create new opportunities for our local carriers to enter into interline agreements with US-based carriers for connection of travellers to our neighbouring islands from the US mainland. This forms part of our strategic plan for further development of PJIA’s hub function and service to the region,” said Johnson.

“Whether travelling leisurely for vacation or business, aviation activity generates tremendous economic benefits for the people of the Caribbean and in particular a tourism-dependent destination such as St. Maarten. Therefore, I wish to commend the organisers whose foresight it was to combine the two topics ‘Aviation and Tourism’ and establish the Caribbean Aviation Meetup,”

The Caribbean Aviation Meetup is the first aviation and tourism conference in the region to pay attention to Africa in a great panel session titled “Opportunities for connecting the Caribbean to Africa through Travel and Tourism, as well as Trade, Investment and Cultural Exchange,” and an African Evening Social Event.

Direct flight connections between a Caribbean hub and an African destination may be realised shortly. Africa will become an important source market. St. Maarten has an opportunity to take the lead in establishing relations and making the connections.

“Over the past four years, the Meetup has been getting increased international interest by experts, professionals and major players of the aviation industry. It has become a brand for a unique conference format,” said Bud Slabbaert, the Chairman and coordinator of the events, “The event will be further developed to justify its reputation as the most important airlift conference in the region.”

Participants from North and Central America, Europe and Africa, as well as the various Caribbean countries, will attend the three-day event. Nine international journalists are currently accredited to cover the event.

For further information, visit the CARIBAVIA website


Source: The Daily Herald https://www.thedailyherald.sx/islands/87877-aviation-conference-returns-to-st-maarten