St. Maarten Airport promotes inter-island tourism cooperationPOSTED: 11/30/11 7:08 AM
St. Maarten – The Princess Juliana International Airport Operating Company N.V. (PJIAE) hosts an inter-island meeting with the tourist offices of its “hub islands” – St. Maarten/St. Martin, Anguilla and St. Barthelemy today. The meeting is a follow up to the second inter-island meeting that was hosted by St. Barthelemy on October 25. At that meeting the directorates of tourism from Saba, St. Martin, St Eustatius and Anguilla confirmed their interest in cooperation with regard to tourism.
The meeting, which was held at St. Barthelemy’s City Hall, opened dialogue between the islands regarding the development of a cohesive tourism identity, tourism zone, and touristic observatory. The dialogue also served as a platform for the formulation of an inter-island association. This association would allow for fluid business relations and the sharing/pooling of both resources and information.
PJIAE was delighted to receive an invitation to the October 25 meeting, and as a result, proposed to host a follow-up meeting in St. Maarten as they support inter-island relations between the five “hub islands partners,” and its function as a hub airport was critical in the development of the PJIA expansion plans. It is also a major point in attracting new airlines to the airport.
The theme that echoed throughout last month’s meeting was teamwork and the November 30 meeting will continue along those lines,” PJIAE’s acting Manager of Marketing & Communications Kalifa Hickinson said.
The tourism authorities at Wednesday’s meeting will continue discussions on the development of connections based on each island’s target markets. Also to be discussed will be the pooling of expenses incurred for international representation in order to carry out special promotions, to gain further market share, and to acquire market analysis tools of the tourist flow into and out of their destinations.
“We consider our hub islands partners in our efforts to meet the demands of our customers and further develop PJIA into a world-class airport,” PJIAE’s Managing Director Regina Labega said.
The representatives and officials confirmed to attend the November 30 meeting are May-Ling Chun, director, St. Maarten Tourist Bureau; Hon. Hayden Hughes and Eustache “Guish” Guishard, representing Anguilla; Stéphanie Bessiere, director of tourism, Collectivity of St. Martin; and Ines Choisy, director of tourism, St. Barthelemy. Representatives from Saba and St. Eustatius are unable to attend due to prior engagements.