MARIGOT–Board members from French-side marine trades association Métimer are set to project a positive and optimistic image of St. Martin’s recovery at the upcoming Paris boat show starting this Saturday, December 2, boosted by a crowdfunding campaign (www.ekosea.com) to fund infrastructure repair, help marine businesses re-start their activities, and promote ecology and protection of the marine environment.
Organisers of the show, Fédération des Industries Nautique (FIN), dedicated this year’s edition of the show to St. Martin as “guest of honour” in addition to requesting 10 million euros from government for rehabilitation of marine infrastructure, removal of boat wrecks and re-launching of businesses and activities in St. Martin. The answer to that request is still pending.
The show attracts 7,000 exhibitors and some 300,000 visitors. From each 15-euro entry fee per person, five euros will be given to St. Martin.
FIN has put at the disposal of Métimer a 25-sqm2 stand, complete with electricity for video projections, furniture, and a five-metre wall for displaying publicity material about St. Martin. Flyers will be distributed to as many visitors as possible at the entrance and given out at the stand.
Some 4,000 “SXM Smile Again” stickers will also be distributed at exhibitor stands. They can work as bumper stickers on cars, or on personal possessions. Some 200 press kits explaining the situation of St. Martin’s marine industry post-Hurricane Irma will be available to national media or authorities. One hundred T-shirts will be offered to the most generous donors. Naturally visitors to the stand will be offered a glass of St. Martin “Ti Ponche.”
A video showing images before and after Irma, will be shown each day on a continuous loop throughout the show to draw the attention of visitors, but also showing other positive aspects of the island.
“The objective is to show a different image of the island to what has already been disseminated by the media,” explained Métimer President Bülent Gülay. “To make visitors aware of what happened to our island and to appeal to their generosity for donations to help our businesses re-start their activities. We will show visitors that, yes, we were victims of Irma, but we are still smiling and reconstructing a new marine industry in St. Martin and we have exciting new projects to realise.”
Visitors to the show can win a week’s stay for two persons in St. Martin between May 25, 2018 and June 1, 2018. The package includes return tickets for two from Paris and a 7-night stay at La Plantation Hotel in Orient Bay, a day pass for all activities at Fete de la Mer and a multi-activity pass for water sports.
St. Martin’s participation at the boat show has been made possible by St. Martin Tourism Office, Chamber of Commerce (CCISM) and the Collectivité.
Source: The Daily Herald https://www.thedailyherald.sx/islands/71278-st-martin-guest-of-honour-at-salon-nautique-de-paris