Cruise executives and destination stakeholders experience St Maarten’s recovery

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Port St Maarten

MIAMI, USA – Business and relationship development for cruise industry stakeholders and key cruise line decision makers are about to be conjured in ‘Maagical’ St Maarten. A group of 200 FCCA platinum members, along with their colleagues and even family members, will shuffle with more than 20 executives from FCCA member lines, which operate 95 percent of the global ocean cruising capacity, for the FCCA PAMAC conference.

Taking place from June 12-15 at Sonesta Maho Beach Resort, Casino and Spa, the annual event will animate business and fun to make mutual success appear during an agenda ranging from meetings and site visits to tours and receptions providing a platform to discuss everything from industry trends and regionwide affairs to product promotion and member-specific topics – all while rediscovering St Maarten and experiencing its remarkable tourism recovery firsthand.

“The FCCA PAMAC Conference will not only again foster mutual growth for platinum members and member line executives by offering invaluable opportunities to better understand each other along with current happenings and offerings, it will also display the growth of St Maarten that was made possible by all throughout the community coming together to face the tragic and historic 2017 hurricane season and come back even stronger with new products and initiatives to accompany higher guest experience scores,” said Michele Paige, president, FCCA.

On Thursday morning, the high-powered group will gather for the long-standing PAMAC meeting to discuss operations and developments, with select platinum members giving presentations and all participants having the chance to put a topic on the table for the audience of platinum members and cruise executives attending the event.

Leading the meeting and discussions will be a head table comprised of member line executives and FCCA operations committee members-Russell Benford, Russell Daya, Carlos Estrada, Steve Moeller and Ruben Perez-along with Michele Paige. Additionally, Arnaldo Zanonato has planned a presentation to educate members about the Silversea brand and experience.

Immediately following will be one-on-one meetings joining platinum members with their selection of cruise executives representing the cruise lines and departments that can benefit their business-with nearly 20 of the executives pre-scheduling meetings-by providing everything from individualized input to potential deals.

Throughout the event, less formal meetings will take place while the group experiences the destination’s remarkable tourism recovery following the historic 2017 storms on a host of tours showcasing new and renewed attractions, including a ride on the steepest zip line in the world and “Innovative Shorex of the Year” Seatrade Cruise Award winner in 2018-the flying dutchman-at the Rockland estate eco-park, which opened in April 2018 through financing by Carnival corporation and building by rainforest adventures.

The flying Dutchman, which received the 2018 “Innovative Shorex of the Year” Seatrade Cruise Award

Besides the thrilling experiences and vantage points, the tours will put platinum members head-to-head with executives-such as racing authentic America’s Cup race yachts at the St Maarten 12 Metre Regatta-to give a vantage point just as enthralling, one providing unique opportunities to develop business and relationships in a fun and engaging environment.

The tours will also give the group front row seats to some of the reasons why the destination posted a 9.3/10 for cruise guest destination experience in April 2019, even higher than prehurricane levels, along with witnessing the results of new initiatives like Aquila’s front-line training program in May 2019, where 461 locals throughout the hospitality sector were equipped with the education and desire to exceed guest expectations.

Additionally, many tours will give an authentic taste of the destination’s culture and heritage, which studies have shown have become increasingly important to guests from the Emilio Wilson museum’s glimpse of the destination’s past to the Toppers Rhum Distillery’s “World’s Best Tasting Rhum” handmade in St Maarten and all of Friday’s tours ending at Rockland estate for a cultural presentation as well as some of the destination’s preservation efforts through The WasteFactory, a one-stop shop for information, advice, education, collaboration, instruction, creation and sales of environmentally friendly products.  

Other unique networking opportunities taking place throughout the event include nightly receptions where the group can cook up business and relationships while enjoying the local fare and sites, with the welcome reception taking place Wednesday evening at Roxxy Beach and Thursday’s function at Loterie Farm in French Saint Martin – both known for its zip line adventures and recently venturing into other leisure activities for cruise guests, including the development of a par-three, nine-hole, state-of-the-art golf course.

St Maarten will further expand the target on the cruise executives and opportunities for mutual success with a town hall meeting at Port St Maarten along with a private dinner with key stakeholders scheduled for tomorrow. Wednesday will begin with breakfast between the executives along with Port St Maarten and tourism authorities, followed by a site visit to the port and then a private meeting with port and government authorities.

This event is one of many throughout the year that the FCCA coordinates exclusively for its platinum members to meet with high-level executives from FCCA member lines in order for both parties to stay at the forefront of information while remaining in constant contact and developing bilateral relationships that lead to success for all.

“FCCA platinum events bring together platinum members with some of the most important decision-makers in the cruise industry,” said Micky Arison, chairman of Carnival corporation and FCCA. “By discussing pertinent operational matters and forging invaluable business relationships, platinum members gain a competitive advantage and a foot in the cruise industry’s door.”

The next FCCA event will give similar opportunities to anyone interested in doing business with the cruise industry, with chances to network with and promote and exhibit to an expected 100 executives, including member line presidents, CEOs and chairmen. The largest and only official cruise conference and trade show in the Caribbean, the FCCA cruise conference and trade show will offer a series of meetings-including available one-on-one meetings-as well as workshops with expert panels, networking and exhibiting opportunities and more from October 21-25 in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

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