Maarten/St. Martin launched a $1.2 million joint marketing campaign
called "Bring your appetite for life," designed to unify the French
and Dutch sides of the island as one destination.
unveiled at the Caribbean Hotel Association's annual Marketplace
event, Jan. 14 to 16 in Aruba, represents the first time both sides
of the island have come together to promote the island as
The plan is a key
aspect of the 10-year tourism master plan first announced in 2005,
according to Regina LaBega, director of tourism for Dutch St.
A new Web site will
debut within 90 days that will feature links to both the Dutch and
French sides of the island either by using the current Web
addresses of www.st-maarten.com or www.stmartin.org.
The new tag line
"expresses the idea that the island of St. Maarten/St. Martin
offers numerous opportunities and experiences for the average
traveler," according to LaBega.
The island welcomed
more than 250,000 U.S. air arrivals in 2006 and 1.3 million cruise
represent a 2% increase over 2005; projections for 2007 forecast a
4% increase. The growth figures to result from hotel openings and
expansions as well as increased airlift from U.S. gateways,
including the launch of twice-weekly flights on Spirit Airlines
from Fort Lauderdale in April and the second daily nonstop flight
on American from JFK, now in operation for the winter season but
which will go year round in April.
inventory of 5,500 rooms includes the 311-room Westin Dawn Beach
Resort & Spa, which opened in mid-December and already has more
than 8,000 group nights booked in the first quarter of this
Construction of the
250-room Radisson Resort St. Martin, on the site of the former
L'Habitacion property begins Jan. 16, with an opening set for
include Carnival St. Martin, Feb. 13 to 19; Carnival St. Maarten,
April 21 to May 2; SMART, May 9 to 11; and the Soul Beach Music
Festival, May 23 to 28.
reporter Gay Nagle Myers, send e-mail to[email protected].