PHILIPSBURG:--- The St. Maarten Hospitality & Trade Association, earlier this year, presented to Minister of TEAT a Private Public marketing partnership that could generate immediate, tangible and measurable results for the islands economy. This initiative consisted mostly of a strategic destination and business campaign on the widely visited and recognized sites of TripAdvisor and Expedia. Not only SHTA member business immediately answered the calling but SHTA itself invested by way of four (4) USA Today Newspaper advertorial insertions for St. Maarten.
SHTA arranged for the advertorials to be placed in USA Today during the months of June and July 2016 to encourage travelers to visit the destination and to support the current SHTA driven Expedia/TripAdvisor campaign. During the insertion of July 28, 2016 the advertorial was placed next to news related to an article of the US presidential candidates. SHTA stated the following "We were very pleased with the location of the advertorial on the July 28th publication since we feel it that this increased the chances that our advertisement was viewed by many more readers than would have been expected. We are also very grateful to the St. Maarten tourist board who, cooperated by giving us access to their picture gallery and the use of the ‘call to action’ web site www.vacationstmaarten.com ". SHTA’s joint initiative further reinforces the ongoing Expedia and Trip Advisor marketing campaigns for St. Maarten, which are the largest booking sites in the world.
Thus far the Advertorials have received favorable response and increased booking traffic from the ‘call to action’ incentive for visitors considering vacationing on St. Maarten. SHTA continues to receive indications that room night bookings have improved, since the start of the TripAdvisor/Expedia campaign. A sentiment which was echoed by the Minister of Tourism earlier in the week. “We hope this initiative will be repeated during 2017 hopefully with even an earlier start now that we know the success of the results” said SHTA.