PHILIPSBURG–St. Maarten Tourist Bureau (STB) in collaboration with the Department of Statistics STAT recently completed the Tourism Exit Survey (TES) and compiled results based on 642 forms that captured 1,368 stay-over visitors in March.
The survey was executed at Princess Juliana International Airport March 4-11 and comprised collecting information such as visitor and trip characteristics and satisfaction information.
The exercise timing gave STAT a unique opportunity to compare visitors’ experiences pre- and post-Hurricane Irma. The information gave insight into the effects of Irma media coverage on visitors’ expectations. Of the 88 per cent of visitors who had seen media coverage about St. Maarten post-Irma, 54 per cent had seen mostly negative media coverage.
The TES also captured information from departing visitors who attended the 38th annual St. Maarten Heineken Regatta and allowed them to express their impressions of the first major event for the island after Irma.
Tourism and Economic Affairs Minister Stuart Johnson said in a press statement that statistical data collected is essential for the sustainable redevelopment of the country. “This is essential in order to understand our challenges better and help us rebuild a sustainable economy,” he said.
STB Interim Director May-Ling Chun said tourism statistical information is essential to the destination, as it serves as a monitoring tool by which changes in St. Maarten’s tourism industry can be tracked.
The TES results will form the basis for tailor-made marketing initiatives, which will be continuously strengthened to ensure positive public relations for St. Maarten. They also will be used as guides for government in its rebuilding efforts, as they give vital details of visitor observations.
Through collaborative analysis three reports were produced from the respective data sets: TES Highlights March 2018, a report on the Heineken Regatta Attendees, and a study on the effect of Hurricane Irma’s media coverage.
STAT Department Head Makini Persaud-Hickinson said regular surveys amongst tourists are critically important, as they yield valuable data that can help gauge the impact of the industry on St. Maarten’s economy and stay abreast with how guests perceive the island.
The three reports contribute to remodelling the marketing strategies and monitoring the economic impact of the tourism industry.
The reports are public and can be accessed via
Source: The Daily Herald https://www.thedailyherald.sx/islands/81489-stat-and-tourist-bureau-measure-visitors-experience