PHILIPSBURG:--- Minister Lee commented on the very positive team approach to governing as demonstrated by the decision by Council of Ministers and Minister Boasman, to send Minister Lee to attend CHTA Marketplace, the largest regional tourism show, that was hosted at the Atlantis in the Bahamas. Minister Lee joined by Marla Chermont, from the St Maarten Tourist office, Julien Lake, from the Cabinet of TEATT, and a representative from Spring O'Brien, the new North American Marketing firm.
According to Minister Lee, the meetings with Tour operators were very positive. "Many of the tour operators commented on the minimal and sporadic marketing from the destination. I would recommend that the incoming Minister of TEATT look at the budgeting process. Budgets should be allocated annually with longer lead times. Our budgets need to be allocated on a multi-annual basis taking into consideration tour operator and consumer behaviors", commented Minister Lee.
During Marketplace, discussions were held with representatives from the St Martin tourist office about improving cooperation beyond SMART, which is scheduled for June 14-16, 2017. In particular, the recommendation is to look at pooling some of our marketing dollars especially when it comes to cooperative marketing with Tour Operators. "Tour operators and our customers see the island as one destination, when we have a disjointed marketing campaign it isn't efficient and perhaps even confused people. I was happy that there appears to be an interest in renewing cooperation when it comes to promoting our destination", said Minister Lee.