Marigot / Philipsburg – The 15th edition of the Sint Maarten / Saint Martin Annual Regional Tradeshow SMART is, amongst others, to host workshops of CHTA, Google 360 technology, Expedia and MasterCard. Organizing parties L’Association des Hoteliers de St. Martin (AHSM), Saint Martin Tourism Office and the St. Maarten Tourist Bureau and St. Maarten Hospitality & Trade Association (SHTA) are honored to have confirmed workshops of these names of repute, with several more to be announced shortly.
The workshops are announced halfway Early Bird Week, providing for discounts as well as preferences for early bookers. In total, 10 workshop requests have been done to the four organizers to find a stage at the largest regional tradeshow of the Northeast Caribbean. Last week 8 were selected to be most beneficial to the large variety of tourism organizations visiting the event at Westin at 14th– 16th of June.
Aligning with the ambition of organizing parties to make this edition the best of the past 15, the amount of 8 workshops exceeds by far the amount of an average SMART event thus far.
One of the reasons for choosing such an amount is not only because of a large spontaneous offer for this year’s event, but as well the fact that all partners involved want to stress the value of providing educational opportunities for visiting parties next to doing business. As the 21st century is marked by rapid development within the sector, new tools become available to use data and insights for the betterment of Sint Maarten / Saint-Martin tourism product.
First and foremost, organizing parties are honored by the confirmed contributions of the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA). CHTA represents Caribbean lodgings worldwide, amongst which many on both sides of the island of Sint Maarten / Saint Martin.
CHTA Chief Executive Officer and Director General Frank Comito will present the workshop “Today and Tomorrow: Regional Tourism Insights, Intelligence and Initiatives”. Mr Comito will share figures on the current performance of the Caribbean region regarding tourism, as well as an outlook and a presentation of trends that will be impacting the regional tourism industry. Next to that, CHTA’s Executive will provide insights how to improve marketing and marketability of tourism destinations by leveraging local resources.
MasterCard will provide attendees global and regional insights from their large resource of users. Anonymized data will be used on looking into the tourism ecosystem by MasterCard use, helping visiting tourism players to understand inbound markets and tourist spending behavior patterns. Next to explaining use of MasterCard on the island of Sint Maarten / Saint Martin and beyond, the multinational credit card will share how custom audiences can be actively targeted by spending analysis.
Amongst other topics, Expedia will provide understanding of SMART’s host island’s success over 2016 in adding over 30 % more stayover bookings by the world’s largest hotel booking site, but also how large growth can be consolidated and expanded. Expedia will provide individual regional hoteliers and activity providers tips how to improve online performance.
Google Street View – Trusted is a premium quality, 360-degree interactive virtual tour of your business powered by Google Maps. With Google Street View, your customers can walk inside your business and see the ambience of your installations. The technology is a relatively new method used worldwide to open up hotel look and feel and to connect lodgings to Google Street View technology. Hospitality locations can show future visitors a 3D idea of design, atmosphere of their public spacing’s as well as variety of hotel rooms. Next to better visual insight for the guest, it allows for increased visibility in Google. As this technology can only be performed only by Google Trusted Companies, this masterclass will be hosted by official Google services provider AltaVista Communications Group (US).
SMART will be hosted by the Westin Dawn Beach Resort Casino and Spa from June 14th-16th. An invitation movie can be found at https://youtu.be/RAFGr3axPFc.