Thursday, July 02, 2020

 The Sint Maarten Hospitality and Trade Association (SHTA) in conjunction with many of its members launched a #SXMReady Visitor Data Project. By reaching out to people that visited Sint Maarten over the past few years, via various channels, we can learn about their travel intentions. SHTA intends to provide an outlook of what to expect of the rebound of its main economic pillar in the wake of the COVID19 pandemic. By means of this data, it hopes to provide solid guidance to the industry, mapping a way forward to identify opportunities.

People visiting the island over the past years have received a survey enquiring when they would return to the island, what their main drivers for returning are and what impediments they see for coming back. In addition, the association will compile the demographics of the respondents in order to assist all stakeholders, private and public, in target areas for renewed marketing campaigns.

The association is happy with the initial response rate. In the first 36 hours after its launch, the enquiry was filled in by over 8,000 past visitors from mainly North America, the Caribbean and Europe.

SHTA thanks the many contributors for spreading the enquiry, with special gratitude for the extra efforts of Domino’s Pizza, Sonesta Maho Beach Resort Casino & Spa and Port St Maarten.

The first results show that enhanced standards of cleanliness befitting the post-pandemic reality are important to the visitors too – as is the fact that St Maarten has contained the outbreak.

SHTA is convinced Sint Maarten is home to a great deal of local marketing talent, these professionals know how best to present the island. Based on a comparable campaign in 2016, SHTA wants to use the preliminary survey results to provide a platform for local talent by launching a #SXMReadyvideo competition.

The best social media videos addressing the topics of; 1. On island activities 2. Shopping 3. Showing the island as a COVID19 safe destination will be rewarded with a free staycation package. There will be three winners, one per category. All videos can be used for marketing the destination. In addition, there will be a fourth category for movies on any other topic that might attract visitors to St Maarten.

If you are interested in participating in the competition please email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

NEW YORK (AP) — After voicing support for Woody Allen and criticizing cancel culture, Spike Lee apologized Saturday for words he said were “wrong.” In an interview Friday on the New York radio station WOR 710, Lee called Allen “a great, great filmmaker.” “This cancel thing is not just Woody. And I think that when we look back on it, (we’re) gonna see that, short of killing somebody, I don’t if you can just erase somebody like they never existed. Woody’s a friend of mine,” said Lee. “I know he’s going through it right now.”


NEW YORK (AP) — Gary Phillips, a prize-winning crime novelist from Los Angeles, grew up on TV shows that showed a world nothing like the one he lived in. “I watched them all, ‘Dragnet,’ ‘Adam 12,’ ‘The Wild, Wild West,’ ‘Mannix,’ ‘Cannon,’ ‘Peter Gunn’ reruns and on and on. Now these were white guys and they were tough but fair and even-handed,” he told The Associated Press in a recent email, referring to popular programs mostly from the 1960s and 1970s. “I remember a ‘Dragnet’ episode where tight-ass Joe Friday solved racism among black and white officers in a weekend retreat. But I was a kid growing up in South Central and even then some part of me knew a lot of this was jive. We knew the cops out of Newton and 77th Division policed the ’hood a lot different than shown on TV.”

NEW YORK (AP) — An angry and emotional Dave Chappelle spoke on the killing of George Floyd in a surprise Netflix special, saying America was being punished for its mistreatment of black men. “I don’t mean to get heavy but we got to say something,” said Chappelle, who added that America is enduring “the wrath of God” for a string of police assaults on black men. The special was released Thursday and is streaming free on Netflix’s comedy YouTube channel. It was taken from a show at an outdoor pavilion in Yellow Springs, Ohio, with about 100 attendees on June 6.

Nanci Ryder, a powerful Hollywood publicist and co-founder of BWR Public Relations who became close to such stars as Renée Zellweger and Courteney Cox, died Thursday of Lou Gehrig’s disease in Los Angeles. She was 67. Ryder was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis — or ALS — in 2014. The neurodegenerative disease gradually claimed her ability to walk, talk, eat and move. Her death was announced by publicist Lynda Dorf. Ryder’s clients — including Michael J. Fox, Reese Witherspoon, Viggo Mortensen and Sarah Michelle Gellar — blossomed into close friends. Zellweger thanked Ryder in her best actress acceptance speech when she won the Academy Award for “Judy” earlier this year. Witherspoon called her a “second mother.”