A high-level delegation from the Saint Martin Tourism Office visited New York last week to deliver a comprehensive update on the island’s tourism product, and re-engage with their partners in-market. The team, led by President Valérie Damaseau, included Vice-President Bernadette Davis, Director Aida Weinum, Communications and MICE Manager Ricardo Bethel, and Céline Gumbs, Assistant to the President.
“This is our first in-market visit since the pandemic.”
“And it underscores the significant value we place on The United States – – and in particular the northeast region – – which continues to be our most important source market,” said President Valérie Damaseau. “We are happy to report that arrivals to Saint Martin are ahead of our projections; we relaxed our Entry Protocols on April 1st, eliminating the testing requirement for fully vaccinated travelers, in acknowledgment of our successful management of the Covid pandemic.”
The President also announced the dates of the second annual Festival de Gastronomie, which will take place from November 11 – 22, 2022. This Festival brings together Michelin starred international chefs in partnership with local chefs at restaurants across the island, and shines the spotlight on Saint Martin’s flavorful fusion cuisine and abundant dining experiences.
A highlight of the visit was a reception for Saint Martin’s leading trade partners, at which, following the welcome by President Damaseau, Director Weinum and Trade Relations Manager Cyndi Miller-Aird presented an update on new resort developments, airlift and on-island events. Vice President Davis introduced the advisors to the delights of the island’s delectable Guavaberry liqueur, and two lucky travel advisors won hotel stays on Saint Martin in a surprise drawing at the end of the evening. Jose Castillo, General Manager of the Secrets Resort, presented Arlene Bentivegna from Bay Parkway Travel with a hotel stay, while Jeanne Piro from ALTOUR won a stay at Grand Case Beach Club, presented by Sales Director Deborah Traussi.
Among the many new developments on island is a new website, interactive and user friendly, providing visitors with useful information to help them prepare for their trip; an attractive new visitor kiosk in the heart of Marigot, an information center that is easily accessible for all visitors; and new resorts such as the Beach Hotel, slated to open in October 2023.
During the course of the week the delegation hosted a luncheon for the consumer and trade media, conducted one on one interviews with select media and met with a number of potential strategic partners to promote and drive business to the island.