Montserrat Repped at 15th Tourism Tradeshow on St. Maarten

Norman Cassell from NamCas Tours with represented by its President Alston Lourens and Vice President Paula Gordon of the St Maarten Carnival Foundation at SMART. (SXM Carnival Photo)

The Tourism Division in conjunction with Travel World International Ltd attended the 15th St. Maarten Annual Regional Tradeshow (SMART) held during the period May 21-23, 2019 at the Sonesta Maho Resort. SMART was organised by the St. Maarten Hospitality and Trade Association (SHTA), in conjunction with Association des Hoteliers de Saint Martin (AHSM) with the support of St. Maarten Tourist Bureau and St. Martin Tourist Board. This travel tradeshow consisted of two days of innovative workshops, sales activities and one-on-one business appointments. The Montserrat team at SMART comprised of Cherise Aymer, Marketing Officer at the Montserrat Tourism Division (MTD), Roselyn Cassell-Sealy (Travel World International), Norman Cassell (Namcas Tours) and Theresa Silcott (Grandview Bed and Breakfast).
Over 170 companies participated, and Montserrat joined other regional destination attendees, namely: Anguilla, Dominica, St Kitts, Saba, St. Eustatius, BVI and host country, St. Maarten. The team’s attendance at this event sought to position Montserrat as a viable vacation add-on for travelers visiting St Maarten, giving them an affordable and unique twin-island holiday experience. St Maarten welcomed 1.8 million visitors in 2018 and this number is predicted to increase this year.
“With the ongoing discussions of enhancing access to Montserrat, the Tourism Division felt that this was an excellent opportunity to network with hospitality partners in St Maarten, so that we would be top of mind in that market should this become a reality,” said Director of Tourism, Warren Solomon. The team networked with industry personnel such as hoteliers, airlines and representatives from the St. Maarten Tourism Authority.
Montserrat’s presence at SMART was well received, with a steady flow of traffic to the display booth. Many were intrigued by the Buried City Tours and the Soufriere Hills Volcano. Local hoteliers from St Maarten expressed interest in the potential for inter-island tours between that country and Montserrat for their guests, as long as there is direct service. Marketing Officer, Cherise Aymer stated that, “through aggressive promotions in both French and Dutch St. Maarten, the possibilities of having regular charters between the islands would yield increased visitor numbers to Montserrat, not only in the day-trip segment but also for stayover visitors.”