POINT BLANCHE – Port St. Maarten Management and stakeholders are currently in Puerto Rico attending the Caribbean’s largest Cruise Conference and Trade Show, the Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association (FCCA), which is taking place from September 27 to 30.
The 23rd annual FCCA Conference and Trade Show is bringing together 1,000 cruise tourism stakeholders and 100 senior cruise executives for a series of meetings, workshops and networking functions aimed at developing understanding, relationships and business.
The event opened on Tuesday morning with the Trade Show which has been described as the largest trade show in the event’s history with innovations like the first-ever Purchasing Initiative to coincide with the announcements of the a new FCCA sourcing program.
On Tuesday afternoon, the Conference opening ceremony featured a keynote address by Arnold Donald, president and Chief Executive Officer of Carnival Corporation along with speeches from Puerto Rican Government officials and the unveiling of a new strategic partnership between the FCCA and Aquila’s Center for Cruise Excellence.
Created in 1972, the FCCA is a not-for-profit trade organization that provides a forum for discussion on tourism development, ports, safety, security, and other cruise industry issue and builds bilateral relationships with destinations’ private and public sectors. By fostering an understanding of the cruise industry and its operating practices, the FCCA works with governments, ports and private sector representatives to maximize cruise passenger, crew and cruise line spending, as well as enhance the destination experience and increase the amount of cruise passengers returning as stay-over visitors.
The Port St. Maarten delegation is headed by Mark Mingo, Chief Executive Officer (CEO), and includes several staff members; a representative from the Walter Plantz Square, and Port Authority National Security Team.
Other stakeholders attending are representatives from the St. Maarten Tourist Office, the Dutch Taxi Association and the Airport Taxi Association. Stakeholders within the Port St. Maarten booth include S.E.L. Maduro and Sons, Rising Sun Tours, Wind is our Friend, and Rainforest Adventures.
“This conference and trade show once again presents the opportunity for us to meet with decision-makers in the cruise industry, and renew and pave the way for relationships for future business while at the same time showcasing what destination Sint Maarten has to offer.
“We are very much interested in learning about the new Purchasing Initiative and the Aquila’s Center for Cruise Excellence. Opportunities are presented to destinations at such an event which allows us to develop business and while exploring how the industry’s latest and upcoming trends apply to Port St. Maarten and the destination as a whole.
“All the information gathered allows us to review and adjust where necessary our strategic plans based on information and business intelligence coming out of workshops and one-on-one meetings as it relates to where ships call, what sells on-board, and how to invest in destination products, shore excursions and infrastructure,” Port St. Maarten Management said on Tuesday.