St. Maarten tourism growth outpaces global average

POSTED: 12/28/12 12:57 PM

St. Maarten’s tourism growth is outpacing regional and international results. So says that Travel Daily News International who reported out of New York earlier this week that while other Caribbean and global destination marketers are struggling to maintain arrival numbers, St Maarten’s innovative tourism marketing approach has generated a 7 percent increase over the same period last year, nearly double the global growth rate of 4 percent according to the World Tourism Organization.

On Wednesday, the island made a new record when it surpassed the 1. 7 million mark for cruise passengers who have stepped onto these shores since the year began. The Harbour Group of Companies celebrated the milestone with much pomp and ceremony, throwing in some fireworks displays as well.

“St Maarten’s tourism marketing team and its US-based marketing agency, Tambourine, have deployed a targeted digital campaign to identify and engage prospective visitors during their online vacation planning process. The integrated search, social media and advertising campaign has driven a record number of visitors to St Maarten’s website,” Travel Daily News International says.

Both St Maarten and Tambourine recently received Gold and Platinum Adrian and Magellan Awards, the largest and most prestigious travel marketing competitions, representing this year’s top marketing campaigns from across the global hospitality industry.

“The internet has radically changed how consumers now research, plan and book Caribbean vacations,” Rafael Cardozo, managing partner of Tambourine said.

“Unlike other destinations, St Maarten has evolved; implementing website and digital marketing programs that identify and captivate potential visitors.”

Harbour chief executive officer Mark Mingo earlier in the week said that the harbour has an integrated expansion vision that will only enhance the island as a premier destination but all stakeholders must play a role in the development of the country.

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