AT SEA–Port St. Maarten received the Distinguished Strategic Partner Marketing Award 2016 from the Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association (FCCA) and cruise line executives at the FCCA Platinum Associate Membership Advisory Council (PAMAC) Conference on board Carnival Victory. Port Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Mark Mingo received the plaque.
One of the key points discussed with cruise lines at the meeting was extending the strategic agreements with cruise line partners and the destination to protect long-term economic stability, especially taking into consideration the opening up of Cuba.
“This will not happen overnight, but we must deliver every year a premium product for our cruise passengers and crew. Regional competition is at our heels and we need to continue to keep ahead and this can only be achieved by being innovative and reinventing our cruise sector,” said Mingo.
These meetings with key cruise industry leaders at the beginning of the year allow planning for 2017 and beyond. “We are focused on strengthening our strategic agreements between the port and our cruise partners. This will result in increased numbers and quality passengers whose disposable income is higher,” said Mingo.
“Based on our achievements in ratings as a destination, we are at the forefront and will continue to do what is necessary to protect our destination achievements which sustain our economy when we look at the impact the cruise industry has on our island.”
Discussions also took place with itinerary planners who determine cruise ship fleet deployments around the world, including the Caribbean.
2020 is going to be a vital year for the Caribbean where the cruise industry is concerned and St. Maarten has to be prepared. A large number of new cruise ships will be launched, as cruise lines have made considerable investments in building new vessels as more people around the world plan to take a cruise as the industry continues to grow. Today, the Caribbean remains the top cruise destination with St. Maarten number one.
“New ventures and product developments must continue. Every year we must see something new being developed and opened. We welcome the new development of Rainforest which will come online later this year,” said Mingo.
More than 100 attendees, including FCCA Platinum Members – key cruise tourism stakeholders – and more than 30 high-ranking executives from the FCCA’s 19 member lines, were on board Carnival Victory for the FCCA PAMAC Conference.
Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. President and Chief Operations Officer (COO) Adam Goldstein will be the incoming FCCA Chairman.
The conference, which took place from Friday to Monday, January 13-16 featured a series of meetings, workshops and networking events connecting with senior cruise industry leaders to discuss industry trends and standards and develop relationships and mutual benefits for the cruise lines and members’ companies and destinations.