St. Maarten back on Dutch tourism market

AMSTERDAM–St. Maarten’s new tourism office for the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg AVIAREPS has started several campaigns to put ‘The Friendly Island’ back on the Dutch market.

St. Maarten is once again represented on the Dutch market since September last year after an absence of several years. The effect of this representation through AVIAREPS was noticeable with St. Maarten’s high-profile presence at the annual Holiday Fair (“Vakantiebeurs”) in Utrecht in January 2017 where a large booth was shared with St. Eustatius and Saba.

Since then, several campaigns have been initiated to create so-called branding and awareness of the destination St. Maarten. Advertorials were placed in the online edition of the monthly magazine Elsevier Juist and in the widely read free newspaper Metro in December last year.

The Travelution website and magazine for professionals in the travel business published an interview with Augusto Priest of the St. Maarten Tourist Bureau in which he shared his view on tourism and all that St. Maarten has to offer.

The February edition of the iFly magazine of the Royal Dutch Airlines KLM presented a colourful five-minute video on St. Maarten which praised the island as the “ideal winter getaway” with “green hills, pearly white beaches and relaxed Caribbean vibe.” KLM last year October started direct Amsterdam-St. Maarten-Amsterdam flights, three times a week. TUI also carries out flights to St. Maarten from Amsterdam.

“We are continuously busy to generate more attention for St. Maarten in the media,” said AVIAREPS PR Representative Zarina Abdoella. “We are also focusing on major events such as the Heineken Regatta and the St. Maarten Carnival.” AVIAREPS Marketing and Trade Representative Marlon Klein added that more new marketing campaigns would be set up in the course of this year.        

The promotional website of the St. Maarten Tourist Bureau in the Netherlands is being upgraded. This is a necessary step because the website was barely maintained in the past year or two in the transition period from the previous tourist bureau representative to the current one.

“We are using the website as a referral page for interested persons who want to know more about the island as a vacation destination,” said Klein. The website offers basic information about vacation packages, the hotels and flights, but also refers potential visitors who are interested in marrying on St. Maarten, or interested in specific activities such as sailing, diving, water sports and island hopping.

Abdoella and Klein emphasized that they have contact with the Tourist Bureau in St. Maarten on an almost daily basis and that all activities are carried out in consultation with the office in Philipsburg.

Source: The Daily Herald