PHILIPSBURG–St. Maarten Hospitality and Trade Association (SHTA) and St. Maarten Tourism Bureau have agreed to launch a 2017 version of the successful online campaign carried out with Expedia.com last year.
The Tourist Bureau has once again allocated funds to participate and SHTA is asking member properties and activities providers to repeat and even enhance the efforts of last year. This joint marketing campaign mutually reinforces each other; essentially giving everyone participating extra marketing for the same expense, said SHTA in a press statement.
Expedia brought a team of executives to present the detailed results of last year’s campaign to 35 different resort/hotels and activities providers during two presentations that took place at SHTA’s Office.
The numbers showed clearly that properties that participated simultaneously with the destination campaign did better than those that did not and SHTA encourages more businesses to participate.
One of the main points highlighted by Expedia was how St. Maarten, in spite of the growing concern regarding the Zika virus in the region managed to increase their summer numbers while many other destinations saw reductions. This point alone highlights the importance of having a continued, consistent and strong presence in the market place; it is a vital asset for the sustainability of the country’s tourism product, said SHTA.
SHTA said it has always stressed the need to put more emphasis on strengthening the summer stayover visitors to round out year round employment and to support the investments made on the island with increased revenues during the low season.
Last year, SHTA said its initiative to create an online destination campaign with funds allocated from the tourism marketing budget and matching those funds dollar per dollar with SHTA member resorts funds, created the multi-level campaign that saw some participating properties increase bookings by more than 30 per cent for the period. The statistical tracking abilities with online marketing shows a clear return on investment of the collaborative campaign, said SHTA.