PHILIPSBURG --St. Maarten Marine Trades Association (SMMTA) intends to look into once again hosting a St. Maarten Boat Show, which will be an economic booster. This announcement was part of a presentation given by the SMMTA Board to the Council of Ministers in early February.
SMMTA’s renewed interest is due to several meetings held this season with multinational companies in the industry. The concept of the boat show is “simply being explored.” The specific time of year for the show is still being debated and researched. The idea is to host it in the shoulder season so that it helps increase occupancy and drive additional business to St. Maarten.
The show is not expected to be launched prior to 2017 or 2018. SMMTA said the concept needs to be thoroughly vetted before St. Maarten rushes into anything.
SMMTA said even though St. Maarten’s show was well organized and professionally executed, it was cancelled after a few years, because it lacked the necessary industry support from yacht brokers and other leaders in the marine industry.
“This is an important fact to remember because without the proper input from different stakeholders on St. Maarten, the United States and in Europe, we are doomed to the same fate as our first attempt regardless of how great a job St. Maarten does in setting up the event,” said the Association.
SMMTA emphasized to the Council that organizers and supporters of the original boat show did an exemplary job with hosting the actual event. “But, we now know that we will need to spend more time with key industry players in the US and Europe to ensure their support and participation in the show before it is launched,” said the Association.