November 14, 2023 -Philipsburg- The St. Maarten Tourism Bureau (STB) attended two shows in Canada recently, which are Caribbean ConnEX in Toronto, and Salon International Tourisme Voyages (SITV) in Montréal. St. Maarten’s participation was enriched with representatives from St. Maarten Sonesta properties, Divi Little Bay Beach Resort, and Artemia/Caribbean Concierge.
Caribbean ConnEX, which took place on November 1st, main objective is to connect Caribbean tourist boards and hotel groups together with Canadian meeting and incentive planners to promote travel to the Caribbean. The St. Maarten delegation met with Canadian planners during one-on-one scheduled appointments to discuss opportunities and potential partnerships after showcasing the destination. The Caribbean is one of the prime regions for meetings and incentive planners, and the St. Maarten Tourism Bureau is exploring this opportunity to further expand on this niche market. The St. Maarten delegation then attended SITV, which took place on November 3 to November 5. SITV is a popular and large consumer travel show in Canada that attracts prospective travelers who are preparing for their trips and seeking to discover new destinations. At SITV, a large percentage of the attendees that visited the St. Maarten booth were consumers that were either shopping around for the upcoming winter getaway or already booked their flights and accommodations, and are seeking tips on what to do while on the island.
STB representatives also met with Air Transat and Arajet airline delegates to discuss scheduled flight service to St. Maarten and the opportunity to extend flight schedule, as well as marketing partnership initiates. Arajet recently announced new service that connects Toronto to St. Maarten via Dominican Republic, which started on October 24, and the new Montreal service which commenced on November 7th. This is exciting news for the destination, as it is an inbound and outbound service, offering additional flight connectivity for travelers.
At both shows, the Canadians expressed their continued interest in St. Maarten. The stayover arrivals of Canadian visitors highlight growth potential for the destination whereby 2023 stayover arrivals are on track to surpass 2022 stayover arrivals. The Canadian market remains an important source market and the St. Maarten Tourism Bureau aims to continuously promote the destination in Canada to create top of mind awareness amongst potential travelers, stimulating travel to the island all year round.