POINTE BLANCHE, St. Maarten – Port St. Maarten – After the conclusion of the largest and best ever 21stAnnual Florida Caribbean Cruise Conference & Exhibition (FCCA) in October 2014 in St. Maarten held under the banner of Re-inventing Cruise, Port St. Maarten management have taken the necessary strategic steps to ensure that Sint Maarten as a mature cruise destination will continue to prevail in the decades to come.
Port St Maarten Chief Executive Officer Mark Mingo and Bertrand Peters, Business Intelligence, recently met with Cunard, P&O Cruises, and Carnival Group United Kingdom (UK) officials Steven Young, Director Port Services and Governmental Affairs, Claire Foote, Port Services Development and Planning Manager, in South Hampton.
The approach being taken by Port St. Maarten is in preparation for the European Road Show and preparations for Seatrade Europe in September 2015.
Port St. Maarten will also be collaborating with Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) in order to strengthen the cruise destination’s position with European brands.
European cruise lines are constructing ships and Port management is poised to make inroads and gain market share with respect to the European market.
In the five years from 2008-2013, the total output of the European cruise industry has increased by 22 per cent to over 39 billion Euros while the number of European-sourced passengers has grown by 44 per cent to 6.4 million in 2013, according to the CLIA Europe Cruise Industry Report.
One of the points discussed with Cunard, P&O Cruises and Carnival Group UK was destination marketing which Port St. Maarten is willing to play a role. One of the main points brought forward by the cruise line reps is that European passengers were very interested in St. Maarten’s duty free shopping.
Customer centricity was another area of focus during the discussions which is about creating a positive consumer experience at the point of sale and post-sale. A customer-centric approach can add value to a company by enabling it to differentiate itself from competitors who do not offer the same experience.
“Customer centricity reveals how to increase profits from your best customers and find more like them and avoid overinvesting in other customer market areas.
“Re-inventing cruise St. Maarten is all about strengthening our relations with the cruise line industry. We have taken the opportunity to enlighten our partners and in this case Cunard, P&O Cruises, Carnival Group UK about our strategic business plans which includes destination enhancements such as the Royal Caribbean Cruise Line St. Maarten Quarter, Walter Plantz Heritage Square and Rain Forest Adventures to name a few.
“These new projects that offer additional tours and opportunities for cruise guests will entice the European cruise customer market who are into eco/nature and heritage tours,” CEO Mark Mingo said on Thursday.
Carnival Cruise Lines is a global cruise company and one of the largest vacation companies in the world. Its portfolio of leading cruise brands includes Carnival Cruise Line, Holland America Line, Princess Cruises, Seabourn, and fathom in North America; P&O Cruises and Cunard in the United Kingdom; AIDA Cruises in Germany; Costa Cruises in Southern Europe; and P&O Cruises in Australia.
Headquartered in Miami, Florida, U.S.A., and Southampton, England, Carnival Cruise Lines operate a fleet of more than 100 ships, with another seven ships scheduled for delivery between January 2015 and March 2017.
With approximately 200,000 guests and 77,000 shipboard employees, there are more than 277,000 people sailing aboard the Carnival fleet at any given time.
PHOTO CUTLINE: L to R, Claire Foote, Carnival Group UK Port Services Development and Planning Manager, Mark Mingo, Port St. Maarten CEO, Steven Young, Carnival Group UK Director Port Services and Governmental Affairs, and Bertrand Peters, Port St. Maarten Business Intelligence.