AMSTERDAM/PHILIPSBURG–Marketing of the country by firm Aviareps in the politico-economic union of Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg Benelux has yielded positive results, including the securing of the first flight to link Brussels and St. Maarten, and appears to have drummed up a positive side effect – interest in the destination from Germany.
The “big win” was that Aviareps just concluded its first year of contracted service to the country with the finalisation of the Brussels connection.
“This is the first time the destination will have direct scheduled service out of the lucrative Belgian market. We’re very proud to have accomplished this and see more European routes close to being finalised,” said St. Maarten Tourist Bureau (STB) head Rolando Brison. He met with Aviareps in the Netherlands recently to review its achievements.
Aviareps used its operations in Germany to assist in gaining interest from three other European routes. “One has already been finalised – TUI from Brussels – with two more airlines eyeing Cologne and Dusseldorf,” Brison said in a press statement issued on Sunday.
It is anticipated that not only German tourists will use those routes. Cologne and Dusseldorf are airports that are closer to and much cheaper for many major cities in the Netherlands such as Arnhem, Nijmegen and Eindhoven.
“So by opening these routes we increase airlift for both our German and Dutch potential visitors. Germans have an especially large interest in not just St. Maarten, but also our surrounding islands. We expect that they will also ‘chip in’ to help us seal the deal with the German operations,” Brison said.
Tourism Minister Mellissa Arrindell-Doncher said careful planning and patience continue to pay off for St. Maarten. “While the natural urge is to expect results right away, patience is starting to win through and we expect to see more in the months ahead and in 2018 when we will initiate and/or report on other plans to boost airlift and visitors to the destination,” she said.
Preliminary arrival figures, to be released soon, according to the Minister’s Cabinet, are expected to show an increase in stay-over tourism from the Netherlands, and “a sharp bump” in brand recognition in the Dutch market, particularly from travel agents and tour operators.
Source: The Daily Herald https://www.thedailyherald.sx/islands/68950-positive-results-yielded-from-benelux-marketing