Coombs: SeatradeCruiseGlobal was eye-opening experience | THE DAILY HERALD

From left: Anastacio Baker, Crystal Coombs, Ife Badejo and Benjamin Ortega.

PHILIPSBURG–Overall winner of St. Maarten Chamber of Commerce and Industry (COCI) “Business Pitch to Seatrade” Crystal Coombs of Cocomoods Concepts, who was one of three businesses selected to attend SeatradeCruiseGlobal Conference and Expo, says the event was an eye-opening experience.

“My journey to the Global Sea Trade in Miami was a wonderful experience. The entire St. Maarten team made me feel so at home. It was very well organised and executed. … I have had the opportunity to promote St. Maarten, meet fellow representatives and network with businesses from all over the world, including St. Maarten.

“There were sessions and workshops we could follow to gain experience and knowledge, taste the cuisine from different countries and islands and also learn about their cultures,” Coombs said in a press release on Wednesday.

“It was very eye-opening to see the corporate world from a different perspective. Outside of the trade there was also a lot of opportunity to network and promote your business. I feel this was an awesome idea to include the businesses of the island.

“There was diversity – the Tourist Bureau, the Harbour [Port St. Maarten – Ed.], Chamber of Commerce and local businesses with different aspects that could represent St. Maarten in different ways. A great learning experience and a great push into the deep.”

She expressed hope that there will be more opportunities like this for entrepreneurs in the future. “This is the experience we are waiting for, but sometimes it doesn’t arrive unless you can afford to get there yourself. Sometimes it’s the support we need from our own to push us further. It’s nice to get feedback, advice, ideas from people you don’t know. It’s definitely a step to take, definitely something to invest in for the following year,” Coombs added. She thanked COCI for the opportunity to attend.

SeatradeCruiseGlobal was held at the Miami Beach convention centre April 8-11. It is the cruise industry’s most significant worldwide event that presents the opportunity to promote the island and the business community. The conference attracted approximately 11,000 attendees.

COCI Board President Benjamin Ortega said the 40th anniversary of the Chamber’s existence demanded a new approach in doing business and the initiative of inclusion was born looking at the next 40 years and into the future where St. Maarten’s business community is concerned in providing innovative ways and means of promoting the economy of the island.

The two other winners of the COCI Business Pitch to Seatrade were VooDoo Entertainment headed by General Manager Paula Daal-Dono and Yoda Guy Movie Museum Foundation headed by Director Nick Maley.

Source: The Daily Herald