St. Maarten and LIAT plan major shopping initiative for regional travelers

Liat on Tarmac in St Martin

ST. JOHN’S, Antigua, October 3, 2011 – Officials from the St. Maarten Island Government and LIAT, THE Caribbean Airline met on Friday 30th September and agreed on a plan of action to promote St. Maarten’s role as a major eastern Caribbean shopping destination.

The St. Maarten team was led by the Hon. Franklin Meyers Minister of Tourism, Economic Affairs, Traffic and Telecommunications, and included Secretary General in that Ministry Mr. Miguel de Weever; Ms. May-Ling Chun Director of Tourism; and other senior representatives from the St. Maarten Hospitality & Trade Association (SHTA) and the Chamber of Commerce.

The LIAT team included Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Mr. Brian Challenger; the Directors of Ground Operations and Cargo & Quikpak; as well as representatives from the Company’s Commercial Office and the LIAT St. Maarten airport office.

Both sides agreed on development of a travel and shopping incentive package that would be aimed at lowering the cost of shopping in St. Maarten for regional travellers including reduced air fares and discounted shopping in St. Maarten, as well as options for discounts in other areas such as car rentals, hotel accommodation and restaurants.

Minister Meyers indicated his administration’s commitment to the initiative which he noted came at an opportune time and would be targeted at the pre-Christmas shopper in the first instance with the possibility of extending the programme to other periods as well.

The LIAT CEO noted that the initiative flowed from the recent Caribbean Tourism Organisation (CTO) State of the Industry Conference in St. Maarten which had identified the need for promoting inter-regional travel and the importance of forging strategic partnerships in this regard. The officials from St. Maarten and LIAT agreed to meet in a few days time to finalise the mechanics of the programme.

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