St Maarten’s Princess Juliana International Airport hosts third inter-island meeting

The Princess Juliana International Airport Operating Company N.V. (PJIAE) is hosting an inter-island meeting with the tourist offices of its “hub islandsSt. Maarten/St. Martin, Anguilla, and St. Barthelemy, on Wednesday, November 30, 2011.

PJIAE had attended the second inter-island meeting hosted by St. Barthelemy on October 25. At that meeting the directorates of tourism from Saba, St. Martin, St Eustatius and Anguilla confirmed their interest in cooperation with regard to tourism.

In addition to their geographical proximity, the islands are further connected by PJIA’s broad international airline network and its hub function.

The meeting, which was held at St. Barthelemy’s City Hall, opened dialogue between the islands regarding the development of a cohesive tourism identity, tourism zone, and touristic observatory.

Participants to the inter-island meeting of October 25 in St. Barthelemy, (L-R): Stéphanie Bessiere, Director of Tourism (St. Martin); Louis Jeffry, 4th Vice President, Collectivity of St. Martin; Hon. Haydn Hughes, Parliamentary Secretary, Tourism (Anguilla); Marithé Weber, 4th Vice President, Collectivity of St. Barthelemy and President of the Tourism Board; Glenn Holm, Director of Tourism (Saba); Charles Lindo, Director of Tourism (St. Eustatius); Eustace Guishard, Chairman of the Anguilla Tourism Board; Candis Niles, Director of Tourism (Anguilla) and Barbara Soleil (Anguilla); Kalifa Hickinson, Acting Manager, Marketing & Communications, PJIAE (St. Maarten); Inès Bouchaut-Choisy, Director, Tourism Office (St. Barthelemy); Catherine Charneau, Tourism Office (St. Barthelemy); Senator Michel Magras, 3rd Vice President of the Collectivity of St. Barthelemy; Ernest Brin, Director, Port of St. Barthelemy.

The dialogue also served as a platform for the formulation of an inter-island association. This association would allow for fluid business relations and the sharing/pooling of both resources and information.

PJIAE was delighted to receive an invitation to the October 25 meeting, and as a result, proposed to host a follow-up meeting in St. Maarten.

PJIAE supports inter-island relations between the five “hub islands partners,” and its function as a hub airport was critical in the development of the PJIA expansion plans. It is also a major point in attracting new airlines to the airport.

The theme that echoed throughout last month’s meeting was teamwork “and the November 30 meeting will continue along those lines,” said Kalifa Hickinson, PJIAE’s Acting Manager, Marketing & Communications.
The tourism authorities at Wednesday’s meeting will continue discussions on the development of connections based on each island’s target markets. Also to be discussed will be the pooling of expenses incurred by international representation in order to carry out special promotions, to gain further market share, and to acquire market analysis tools of the tourist flow into and out of their destinations.
We consider our hub islands partners in our efforts to meet the demands of our customers and further develop PJIA into a world-class airport,” said Regina LaBega, PJIAE Managing Director.

Among the representatives and officials confirmed to attend the November 30 meeting are May-Ling Chun, director, St. Maarten Tourist Bureau; Hon. Hayden Hughes and Eustache “Guish” Guishard, representing Anguilla; Stéphanie Bessiere, director of tourism, Collectivity of St. Martin; and Ines Choisy, director of tourism, St. Barthelemy. Representatives from Saba and St. Eustatius are unable to attend due to prior engagements.

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