PHILIPSBURG:--- The marketing teams of the Tourist Office of Saint-Martin and St. Maarten Tourist Bureau met on January 26 for what will be a monthly working session, to discuss various subjects relating to the promotion of the destination.
Two Hearts, One island, the French side, and the Dutch side work regularly on the common objective of promoting Saint Martin Sint Maarten and target various markets and groups. This was the first monthly meeting of the year 2023, as the goal is to meet every month, in order for the teams of the two tourist offices to discuss with each other the various actions that will take place this year.
On January 26, the meeting brought together the directors Aïda Weinum (Office of Tourism of Saint-Martin) and May Ling Chun (St Maarten Tourist Bureau); North American Market Managers Suzanne Scantlebery (OT) and Marla Chemont (STB); local market managers Nathalie Pinthière-Brooks (OT), Neilleda Désir (OT), and Claudia Vinga (STB), Cherinah Franken (STB) Head of Product Development, and market coordinator South America William Bell (STB); communication officer Sacha Bresse (OT); Executive Assistant Rosette Pantophlet (STB).
With the objective to share a common vision to increase the destination market share, the monthly meetings will provide opportunities for the marketing teams of the two offices to highlight the destination tourism’s high-impact operations, the remaining challenges to be addressed and take stock of the actions carried out jointly.
The working session was also an opportunity to raise the problems encountered by two sides of the island, including the management of the photo and video content for digital platforms, essential for the promotion of the destination. The employees were able to discuss their practices to optimize updates and publications. The STB informed OT that last year for 2022 it had launched a call for content creators for videographers, photographers, influencers, and graphic designers in order to create content consisting of both sides of the island (gastronomy, landscapes, etc.), and will be doing this once more for 2023.
In the meeting discussions concerning the annual calendar of marketing actions on the North American, Latin American, regional markets, European, niche markets as well the local market also took place. The two offices of tourism regularly carry out common actions such as campaigns with tour operators such as Expedia, travel agent roadshows, or participation in trade fairs. The organization of a Pop Up Store (date?) at the Destreland shopping center in Guadeloupe and at the commercial center of the roundabout in Martinique will also be from representations of both the Dutch and French sides. The two offices of tourism have shown great cooperation on the marketing concept of pop-up shops for promotion in this regional market, which exists of a lively stand, dancers, hoteliers from both sides, and event promoters, the prefect formula for collaboration.
“Discussing at the start of the year is a real opportunity to continue to pool our financial and human efforts,” says the director of the Office of Tourism of Saint-Martin, Aïda Weinum. “We informed our counterparts that our 2023 promotional campaign would focus on the pillar event theme, by informing them of the 9 key special events on the French side on which we are to support to deploy our communication strategy".
“Quick starting the year with a vision that will involve, and includes our French side counterpart based on the actions that we are able to collaborate on, will grow the cooperation stronger and gives us the opportunity to execute those actions with an impact,” says May-Ling Chun Director of Tourism of Sint Maarten.
Information, consultation, and collaboration: for the tourist offices of Saint- Martin and Sint Maarten, and the promotion of the destination remains a co-construction.