Ministry of Tourism hosts marketing-strategy meeting | THE DAILY HERALD

Minister of Tourism Stuart Johnson (front row, second left) and Director of Tourism May-Ling Chun (front row, third left) at the destination marketing-strategy meeting on Wednesday, August 14.

PHILIPSBURG–Minister of Tourism, Economic Affairs, Transportation and Telecommunication (TEATT) Stuart Johnson met with key stakeholders for a destination marketing-strategy meeting organised by the St. Maarten Tourism Bureau (STB) Marketing and Product Development Team at Sheer restaurant on Wednesday, August 14.

The interactive whole-day session was to share and actively discuss St. Maarten’s marketing and product development strategies and to conduct an exercise with the stakeholders for an open dialogue on how to work collectively to ensure an increase in visitor arrivals and to assure a “memorable” tourist experience with the overall product.

“The goal of the meeting was to identify areas where collaboration is needed between our private-sector partners in the hospitality industry and the government of St. Maarten through the Ministry of TEATT,” said Johnson. “Through the efforts from this office over the past year, there have been improvements in the arrival numbers, but the reality is that we are still in need of returning to pre-Irma numbers.”

Johnson said collaborating on brand recognition for the destination as well as creating exciting offers for visitors when they come to the island will go a long way in improving the overall product-offer to the travelling world.

“There is no time to waste, as we are in competition with other Caribbean destinations for visitor arrivals and we must rely on experts who have in the past proven to be pioneers in creating the value within our market that attracted visitors for so many years, but we cannot forget to enlist the ideas of the younger people, especially considering the increased use of technology and social media in particular to generate attention and market destinations,” said Johnson.

The discussions included review of recent data collected, the current visitors’ profile, targeted markets, current market trends and the way to move forward in marketing efforts and destination branding to assure a sustainable tourism product. Outlines of the tourism and environmental awareness programmes were shared and discussions were held on other product development topics.

“Public-private partnership (PPP) is key to our destination success, with industry partners that are result-driven and whom we have constant communication with to assure we are aligned and work towards a strong tourism product,” said Director of Tourism May-Ling Chun.

Present at the meeting were the cabinet and staff of the TEATT Ministry, Small Properties Association, St. Maarten Hospitality and Trade Association, St. Maarten Timeshare Association, Chamber of Commerce and Industry, St. Maarten Marine and Trade Association, United Tour Operators Foundation, Princess Juliana International Airport, Port of St. Maarten, the STB Marketing and Product Development Team and local social media influencers.

Source: The Daily Herald