COLE BAY/MARIGOT – On Thursday morning, March 14th, representatives of the two sides of the island, including the first Vice President of the Collectivité Madame Valarie Damaseau responsible for tourism and the Minister of TEATT the Honorable Stuart Johnson, gathered at the French/Dutch border monument in Cole Bay.
The purpose was to ink a document signaling their joint cooperation in hosting the St. Maarten/St. Martin Regional Trade Show (SMART). The annual event is making a return after an absence of two years, due to the passage of hurricanes Irma and Maria in September of 2017. This year’s regional Trade Show is slated to be held at the Maho Sonesta Resort from May 21st to 23rd.
It is also expected to attract to the island, several key stakeholders in the tourism industry coming from across the region and North America. Speaking at the signing ceremony on Thursday, the Minister of TEAT, the Honorable Stuart Johnson highlighted the significance of the Trade Show for the island and its economy.
According to Minister Johnson, SMART is designed to give the opportunity to small hotels, the entire tourism and hospitality sector throughout St. Maarten, the region and the world to participate here in the conference.
Meanwhile, the first Vice President of the Collectivité, Valarie Damaseau, who is equally excited about the island being able to host SMART once again, indicated that this was not only the vision of ministries, but the vision of the tourism board and now, the Hotel Association.