Efforts started to improve communication with FCCA

PORT–A Port St. Maarten delegation led by Tourism and Economic Affairs Minister Cornelius de Weever, and representatives of other Eastern Caribbean countries met with the Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association (FCCA) Operations Committee recently in an initiative to improve communications with destinations that were impacted by the September 2017 hurricanes.

Stemming from that meeting was a “destinations’ think tank,” the formation of which was credited to the Port and FCCA. The goal is for destinations and the cruise industry to bring forward ideas about best practices, lessons learned, and developing a sustainable future together.

Meetings with the FCCA Operations Committee will be held every quarter to further the efforts of the regular events FCCA hosts throughout the year to bring together cruise executives and destination stakeholders with the goal of developing mutual success.

Port Management shared how St. Maarten had enacted a strategy to gather both private and public sectors to meet with a former cruise line executive to prepare for cruise passengers’ return.

“Destinations in the Eastern Caribbean are all in the same boat together. Should more than two destinations on the cruise itinerary not be up to par, this can directly affect cruise calls to St. Maarten. We all have mutually beneficial interests in each other’s welfare where cruise tourism is concerned,” said De Weever.

The FCCA Operations Committee sees the think tank as “perfect to share lessons learned, best practices preparation for the upcoming hurricane season and to devise ways to improve to become better than ever.”

Several cruise lines have communicated in the last two months that the demand for the Eastern Caribbean had softened. De Weever said St. Maarten has been doing well post-Irma, “However, we must continue to share the positive messages and photos from the island across various social media platforms.”

He encouraged residents to use the hashtags #stmaarten and #sxm with “great photos and videos” on social media to help promote the island as “buzzing with culture and entertainment.”

De Weever was accompanied to the FCCA meeting by Port Supervisory Board Chairman Fernando William, Interim Director Ton van Kooten and Business Development Officer Alexander Gumbs. Also attending were U.S. Virgin Islands Tourism Commissioner Beverly Nicholson-Doty, Dominica Tourism and Urban Renewal Minister Robert Tonge, British Virgin Islands Communications and Works Minister Mark Vanterpool and Puerto Rico Tourism Company Chief Strategist Ronald Castro.

Source: The Daily Herald https://www.thedailyherald.sx/islands/76003-efforts-started-to-improve-communication-with-fcca