French St. Martin does massive promotion in New York

POSTED: 06/27/12 12:35 PM

(left to right) President of the Collectivité Alain Richardson and director of the Office du Tourisme Silviane John pose with two of the agency’s staffers in their booth at the Caribbean Tourism Organization’s (CTO) Caribbean Week in New York earlier this month. (Office du Tourisme photo)

MARIGOT, St. Martin – The Office du Tourisme used the occasion of the Caribbean Tourism Organization’s (CTO) Caribbean Week in New York earlier this month to attend a number of side activities aimed at promoting the region. President of the Collectivité Alain Richardson travelled along with the tourism officials and the agency’s director Silviane John grabbed the opportunity to do an interview with Kal London for his show Travel with Kal, which airs on Radio WLIS. Some 220, 000 people listen to the show.
The side activities include the Caribbean Travel and Cultural Fair at Grand Central Station. Travelers were able to experience the many aspects of the Caribbean and hear directly from 25 islands and wedding destinations in the Caribbean. They were also asked to assist in a “real live wedding”.

The delegation also participated in the Caribbean Media Marketplace, which was attended by 190 journalists from the United States and the Caribbean. The St. Martin delegation had 20 meetings and journalists showed interest in taking part in press trips in order to write articles on vacationing with your family, culture and all the assets that make the island a unique destination.
The Caribbean Diaspora Forum gave all participating destinations – including St. Martin – to invite Caribbean nationals living abroad to “Rediscover Home” by traveling to the Caribbean more, influencing others to come and discover and looking into new opportunities for the region. There was also a workshop on crisis management for national tourism officials and travel agents. The session focused on anticipating, dealing with and making decisions in the case of a major crisis.
Niche markets
In effort to start building the business incentive market, the Office du Tourisme attended the workshop “Meet in France” from June 4 to June 6 in New-York, Minneapolis and Chicago. This event, organized by Atout France USA, was designed to reflect on incentives and meetings buyers to suppliers business networking venue.
The objective of this trip was to get more familiarized with this market and meet new possible business planners and create a new database of potential clients to the destination. The objectives of the workshop itself were introducing the St. Martin products and services to the US meeting planners and communicate on the assets and the advantages of organizing incentive programs in St. Martin. Ricardo Bethel was assigned to be present at the workshop and meet the 30 meeting planners attending in the three cities. He made over 100 contacts with different companies for the upcoming 2013/2014 peak season. Some of the companies he met with were American Express, Trident Incentive Services LLC, Pepsico, JP Morgan and Carlson Wagonlit Travel.
North American buyers and suppliers say that meeting market confidence is on the rise and the outlook for the worldwide meetings, incentive travel and the events industry appears brighter than any time over the past year.

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