Philipsburg – SHTA and the St. Maarten Tourism Bureau, after having seen successful results with the online marketing campaign in a partnership with various resorts, as of this week, agreed to launch a 2017 version which we are certain will provide results. Last year SHTA’s initiative of creating an online destination campaign for destination St. Maarten with funds allocated from the tourism marketing budget and matching those funds dollar per dollar with SHTA member resorts funds, creating a dynamic multi-level campaign; saw some participating properties increase bookings by more than 30% for the period. The statistical tracking abilities with online marketing shows a clear return on investment of the collaborative campaign.
For 2017, The St. Maarten Tourist Board has once again allocated funds to participate and SHTA is asking member properties and activities providers to repeat and even enhance the efforts of last year. This joint marketing campaign mutually reinforces each other; essentially giving every participating extra marketing for the same expense.
Excited to again showcase our beautiful island, Expedia brought a team of executives to present the detailed results of last year’s campaign to 35 different resort/hotels and activities providers during two presentations that took place at SHTA headquarters. The Expedia team highlighted how impressed they were with the results of last year’s combined effort and hope that we can surpass the efforts by continuing to build on the past success. The numbers showed clearly that properties that participated simultaneously with the Destination campaign did better than those that did not, and SHTA would like to encourage more businesses to participate.
One of the main points highlighted by Expedia, was how St. Maarten, in spite of the growing concern regarding the ZIKA virus in the region managed to increase their summer numbers while many other destinations saw reductions. This point alone highlights the importance of having a continued, consistent and strong presence in the market place; it is a vital asset for the sustainability of the country’s tourism product. Indeed, SHTA has always stressed that we need to put more emphasis on strengthening our summer stay over visitors in order to round out year round employment and to support the investments made on the island with increased revenues during the low season.