Current Political Uncertainty; Exactly the Reason for the STA
Philipsburg – Despite more than 10 years of lobbying for the creation of the STA, the St. Maarten Tourism Authority, this public-private partnership remains elusive.
While other tourism dependent islands like Aruba, Bahamas, and Curaçao have managed to incorporate similar structures, St. Maarten still hasn’t managed to complete the process. Such authority’s goals focus on sustainable marketing strategies, independent of political structures.
The STA would bring continuity to the tourism industry of St. Maarten, regardless of what takes place in the political arena. Consequently, the business of promoting St. Maarten and bringing in tourists in, thus generating revenue for our country would continue uninterrupted.
Had the STA been in place at present, a proper review of the funding of a promotional project such as Tempo, would not have to wait for the appointment of a new minister for tourism.
In the wake of a very successful SMART, the St. Maarten/St. Martin Annual Regional Tradeshow, the time is ripe to capitalize on the momentum. This is the moment to reinforce old partnerships and to build on new relationships. However, in this time of turmoil and uncertainty, stakeholders have understandably adopted a “wait and see approach”.
For an island that depends heavily on tourism, this is not the way to manage our country’s main industry, the one that generates the lion share of the income for the island. Not having the STA in place has been hampering our island’s marketing efforts i.e. our economic productivity.
We need to continuously and consistently promote St. Maarten’s brand and image, not just the upcoming high season. Out of sight, out of mind!