New York, NY, September 23, 2022: A team from the Saint-Martin Tourism Office is currently conducting a weeklong series of trade and consumer events and outreach in the Northeast USA to promote the destination and build business for the upcoming Fall and Winter seasons. The delegation is led by President Valérie Damaseau, accompanied by Director Aida Weinum, North American Manager Suzanne Scantlebery, Communications and MICE Manager Ricardo Bethel, assistant to the President Céline Gumbs, and elected official Steven Cocks.
“We are delighted to be back in our primary market and overwhelmed by the positive response we have received from both our trade partners and consumers,” stated Valérie Damaseau, President of the Saint- Martin Tourism Office. “I am happy to report that Saint Martin is doing extremely well this year, but our challenge is to maintain this momentum into 2023, which we hope to make the best year ever for tourism to the island.”
The Northeast Roadshow started in Boston, where over 60 travel advisors attended a mini-trade show with leading trade partners, followed by dinner and a destination presentation delivered by Suzanne Scantlebery and Trade Relations Manager Cyndi Miller-Aird. They gave an update on the destination’s tourism product, entry requirements, hotel developments, and airlift services. The second trade reception was held in Philadelphia with another great turnout of over 70 advisors, the third reception was held in Long Island and concluded in New Jersey. In all, over 300 advisors have attended the four trade receptions.
The President announced that 2023 will be ‘The Year of Events’, where the focus will be on highlighting the numerous and varied events such as the SXM Festival, Carnaval, Love Days Festival and Oualichi Festival. She also announced the dates of the second annual Festival de Gastronomie, which will take place from November 11 – 22, 2022. This year’s Festival will include a BBQ competition, mixologist competition, cooking workshops with Michelin starred and local chefs, a vocational high school competition, a culinary village and participating restaurants competing for ‘Best Table’ by creating the most innovative dishes featuring the signature ingredient plantain in their menu.
The announcement was made at a special luncheon for the consumer and trade media at the legendary James Beard House in New York City. The spectacular meal was prepared by award winning chefs Bastian Schenk from Villa Hibiscus and Jewel Daal from Yvette’s Restaurant, along with leading mixologist Darryl Brooks, who were all flown in from Saint Martin specifically for the event.
The Saint-Martin delegation also attended several meetings during the week with media and brand partners to discuss future collaborations. The President conducted a series of one-on-one interviews on radio shows and podcasts and was featured in a special segment on Channel 11 WPIX-TV’s Morning News show.
Several trade partners attended the trade receptions, including Jose Castillo, General Manager of the Secrets Resort; Deborah Traussi, Sales Director at Grand Case Beach Club; Heidi Glidden and Lisa Orlando from Delta Vacations; Nick Tzelis and Sherry Hall from, ALG Vacations; Jodi Lubin and Mario Lupini from Island Destinations; Alison Treen, Tracy Lenz Pearson, Rhonda Jones from Villas of Distinction; Mary Liz Whellis from The Moorings, and Deb Tortoli from Vacation Express. They presented their product updates and provided trip giveaways to select advisors who were lucky enough to win a chance to visit Saint-Martin.