On Monday, March 12th, 2018, Commissioner of Tourism, Bruce Zagers, met with hotel and dive shop owners to discuss recent updates within Saba’s tourism industry and upcoming projects for 2018. Included within the discussion was the upcoming plan for a redesigned Saba Tourism website, the upgrade of the building and location of the Saba Tourist Office, current plans for the expansion of the Fort Bay Harbor, accessibility to Saba and new contracts which will benefit Saba’s tourism industry.
In 2015, a 2-year contract was signed with a public relations company in New York, D&D PR. The coverage and connections that this company has generated have been very beneficial for Saba, and it was therefore decided to extend the contract for another year. A 2-year contract has also been signed with Green Destinations, a company in the Netherlands that helps destinations to meet their sustainability goals while also promoting the destinations on various “green” platforms. A Social Media expert will also be contracted for a year. During that time the expert will provide Social Media marketing training to the Tourist Office and other tourism stakeholders will assist the Tourist Office in social media marketing of the island and will lead in the development of the new tourism website.
At the beginning of 2017, the Public Entity Saba began gathering tourism statistics, to determine the number visitors to Saba more accurately. Recorded at the end of 2017, was that approximately 10,222 tourists visited Saba via the Fort Bay Harbor and 8,188 visited via the Juancho Yrausquin Airport. These numbers include tourists, RCN employees, yacht visitors and cruise ship passengers. Because the project began in mid-January 2017 and with the disturbance of the hurricanes in September, the statistics presented are not a complete analysis. The project is continuing in 2018. It and its resulting statistics were also discussed during the meeting with the stakeholders.
Zagers, “The meeting with the stakeholders went well. It is important that we maintain an effective communication line between the different entities within the tourism industry. Other meetings will be held to ensure that the stakeholders remain updated and can provide feedback on the various projects. I look forward to meeting with them again in the near future.”