Pantophlet attends meeting for Caribbean Cruise Conference

POSTED: 04/17/13 1:24 PM
Min Romeo Pantophlet and Harbour Officials Meet with FCCA 050612

Min Romeo Pantophlet and Harbour Officials Meet with FCCA 050612 (file photo)

St. Maarten – Preparations are in full swing for the 21st Annual Florida Caribbean Cruise Association (FCCA) Cruise Conference and Trade Show that will be hosted by St. Maarten in the latter half of 2014.

President of the FCCA Michele Paige and Minister of Tourism & Economic Affairs Romeo Pantophlet attended the kick-off meeting at the Cruise Terminal Building yesterday morning.

The steering committee which is chaired by Minister Pantophlet with the Harbor Group of Companies Co-Chair held by Chief Executive Officer Mark Mingo provided an update to a four-member delegation from the FCCA headed by its President Michele Paige.  Next year will be 10 years since the destination hosted its first FCCA conference and trade show, Mingo is looking forward to another successful event where the country can be showcased to cruise executives.

The FCCA’s mandate is to foster a better understanding of the cruise industry and to develop cooperative relationships with destination partners at both the public and private sector levels in order to create a win-win situation for all.

The conference benefits are a real opportunity for all stakeholders involved in the cruise sector.  Some of the benefits are an increase in cruise industry contact base from cruise executives, operations, purchasing, marketing and shore excursions; and gaining insight on what cruise lines look for in shore excursions, products, and services.

The premier cruise industry event of the year will bring together over 1000 cruise industry partners and approximately 100 cruise executives to the island in September/October of 2014.

Paige stated at the meeting that the conference is an opportunity where all decision-makers of the industry will be present and private sector stakeholders will be able to have direct conversations with cruise line CEOs.  Paige added that St. Maarten is growing in every way, but that new tours will need to be added annually, tours that educate and entertain cruise passengers.

The Steering Committee members include the St. Maarten Hospitality & Trade Association (SHTA), the Tourist Bureau, the St. Maarten Chamber of Commerce & Industry, Princess Juliana International Airport, and Branding and Marketing Destination.  The Harbor Sub Committee has representatives from the Commercial Department, Safety & Security, Cargo & Terminal, Senior Manager and Maintenance.

Mingo says that he would like to have all conference and trade show organizational logistics completed by January.

“Private sector involvement is essential in making the 21st Annual FCC Cruise Conference & Trade Show a success.  I see this as a big opportunity for our private sector especially where it comes to deliberations and exchange of ideas and views with cruise executives.  Our destination has to think outside of the box.  Tour and destination development are key areas that we have to focus on for continued future success of our cruise sector,” Mingo stated.


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