SINT MAARTEN/MIAMI - Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association (FCCA) – the trade association that represents the mutual interests of destinations and stakeholders throughout the Caribbean, Central and South America, and Mexico, along with Member Lines that operate over 90 percent of the global cruising capacity – is pleased to announce that St. Maarten has renewed and increased its strategic development agreement with FCCA for 2023. The new agreement makes St. Maarten a “Presidential Partner,” the Association’s exclusive, capped program limited to three destination partners and focused on their specific goals.
“As we move towards the future, we are excited to partner with FCCA and further develop the business and destination through various initiatives,” said Alexander Gumbs, CEO of Port St. Maarten. “The package includes features such as employment opportunities for locals where FCCA will provide access to expertise in preparing and implementing a Destination Employment Strategy, Destination Site Inspections for Port Operations and Shore Excursion Executives, priority in Training Opportunities, Data & Insight on areas such economic impact, daily spending, calls and passenger volume to just cite a few of the benefits of this great partnership.”
The agreement, which is a renewal and increase of the previous year’s strategic development partnership with FCCA, was signed by Gumbs along with Minister of Tourism, Economic Affairs, Transport and Telecommunications Honorable Arthur L. Lambriex on behalf of destination St. Maarten. The signing took place onboard Virgin Voyages’ Scarlet Lady during an event that brought together FCCA Platinum Members and Member Line executives to exchange ideas and share strategies for the future development of the cruise industry and destinations.
Through the agreement, FCCA will not only guide St. Maarten’s public sector on ways to enhance the product and increase cruise calls, but also will collaborate with the local private sector to create new experiences and maximize opportunities, including the purchasing of local goods and hiring of citizens.
Additionally, the agreement will utilize FCCA’s cruise executive committees, including sub-committees focused on employment and purchasing, for a series of meetings and site visits focused on St. Maarten’s objectives.
St. Maarten will also have open access to the FCCA Executive Committee, comprised of Presidents and above of FCCA Member Lines, along with their efforts to effectuate the agreement’s objectives and the destination’s goals.
Some of the other features of the strategic partnership include a focus on converting cruise guests to stay-over visitors, promoting summer cruising, engaging travel agents, creating consumer demand and developing a destination service needs assessment that will detail strengths, opportunities and needs.
“St. Maarten has been a longtime partner of FCCA and the cruise industry, from putting their faith in us after the tragic Hurricanes Irma and Maria, to helping the industry rebound from COVID-19 by hosting laid-up ships and working with us to return cruising – all the while being a top partner of FCCA,” said Michele Paige, CEO of FCCA. “We are honored by St. Maarten’s continued belief in us and our ability to help the destination and its citizens benefit from cruise tourism.”