Johnson signs destination marketing MOU with Saba

Tourism, Economic Affairs, Trans­port and Telecommunica­tions (TEATT) Caretaker Minister Stuart Johnson recently signed a memo­randum of understanding (MOU) with Saba Com­missioner of Tourism Bruce Zagers that aims to foster a closer working relationship in tourism development and joint promotion of St. Maarten and Saba.

From left: Saba Commissioner of Tourism Bruce Zagers and TEATT Minister Stuart Johnson.

The MOU was signed in Saba on Monday, October 7, following the approval given by the Council of Ministers on Friday, Octo­ber 4.
The MOU states that both parties agree to “co­operate in participating together at marketing and sales promotions,” as well as “at travel shows mutually agreed upon.”

The agreement has no fi­nancial commitments by either party, according to a press release. Johnson said any joint financial agree­ments that may follow will have to be decided and agreed on separately.

Based on the MOU, St. Maarten and Saba will col­laborate in seeking financ­ing for specific tourism development projects from regional and international institutions.

Johnson said the MOU “signifies the commitment I have made from the start of my tenure as Minister of Tourism and Economic Af­fairs, which is the rebuild­ing of our economy and sustainably redeveloping our tourism product.”

“The fact is that when you travel to St. Maarten, there are opportunities to hop over to our neighbouring islands, and we are a more sellable destination when we promote these options jointly.

“Travellers today are look­ing for destinations that have interactive and eco­friendly activities. We are already unique … we are already two countries in one, with French St. Martin and Dutch St. Maarten and what better way to expand on our uniqueness than showing the benefit of vis­iting three or four different destinations within min­utes, giving the vacationer more value for their dol­lar,” he said.

Like the MOU with French St. Martin, which involves a joint approach to destination marketing, the Saba/St. Maarten MOU will result in a pooling of resources to maximise the effectiveness of marketing at tradeshows and other promotions, according to a press release.

Other areas where the two islands will collaborate in­clude data collection, stra­tegic planning, and hospi­tality training.

The MOU is valid for an indefinite period with the option of revision where necessary and does not re­strict individual product de­velopment and marketing efforts, said Johnson.

The Daily Herald.

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