Philipsburg, Sint Maarten — The St. Maarten Hospitality & Trade Association (SHTA) and the St. Maarten Tourism Bureau (STB) congratulate COPA Airlines on resuming its flights to St. Maarten. COPA Airlines resumed weekly flights as of Friday, November 20th, but will increase frequency during the second week of December to four times weekly.
Prior to COPA’s return, the SHTA and STB organized a digital marketing event, with 234 travel agencies from across South America participating. The webinar provided insights in the ongoing tourism recovery of the destination, as well as health protocols for travelers to St. Maarten. Travel agents asked live questions to an online, seven-person SHTA and STB panel. The event is the second in a series where St. Maarten tourism partners collaborate with airlines to stimulate the recovery of tourism.
‘I commend the efforts of STB and all stakeholders involved that have taken an active role in ensuring that our airlift numbers continue to increase. As governments all over the world continue to deal with the realities of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, a safe St. Maarten remains our main goal in order for the economy to return to pre-pandemic levels,’ stated Minister Ludmila de Weever.
For this edition, new features were added such as live reports from Mullet Bay Beach and the Concordia Monument, creating an interactive and dynamic experience for the participants. Mullet Bay Beach was chosen because of its beauty and popularity with both visitors and residents, while the border monument highlights the historical uniqueness of St. Maarten/St. Martin in all the Caribbean.
The St. Maarten Tourism Bureau in collaboration with Sonesta Maho Beach Resort, Copa Brazil and InterAmerican also held a St. Maarten virtual FAM trip on November 19th, 2020. The virtual FAM trip which is a webinar to present activities and services to international tour operators was presented in Portuguese to over a total of 100+ participants, which consisted of tour operators.
The widely attended webinars are considered an effective way to reach a core supporting audience by providing a virtual travel experience for the agents, and positive return on investment by all partners. The success of the first two webinars, with over 500 travel agents attending, encourages the organizers to host additional digital updates, along with airlines and the agents that service the hubs.