Update end of May, 2017
Position of St. Maarten
St. Maarten is part of the Dutch Caribbean Leeward Islands. The 87 km2 island is divided roughly 60/40 between France (53 km2) and the Kingdom of the Netherlands (34 km2). The two parts are roughly equal in population, with slightly more people living on the Dutch side. It is the smallest inhabited island divided between two nations.
Trends of the tourist economy
St. Maarten as a country is currently not being marketed with a clear, unique voice to the world. The old adage “The Friendly Island” has lost its appeal amongst tourists, citizens and experts in the tourist industry. The tourism and trade lack a recognizable brand abroad. Whilst global competition on the tourism product is increasing, indicators show that old formulas of St. Maarten tourism successes wear out. Former growth of St. Maarten’s tourism and trade can no longer be taken for granted for the long term.
UPG develops strategic Branding Program
In the first step UPG analyzed strategically which elements on the island are stimulators and which elements are dissatisfiers to stimulate visitors and tourism. With the results of the analysis in hand, it became clear both the pro’s and contra’s have to be addressed to successfully promote and stimulate the island in a consistent and sustainable way. UPG is to develop an unified and strong communication of St. Maarten as a key instrument.
Local for local
Communication and attitude founded and carried by St. Maarten’s economy and its people holds a great advantage: St. Maarteners and their businesses are at best able to grasp the essence of what their island stands for. If a message is carried by a broad base, it will be communicated by a broad base.
A few examples
- During the summer period, there is a vast amount of stay accommodation capacity available, which is not filled.
- Two of the main continents, the United States of America and Europe have their vacation period exactly in the summer. St. Maarten has not been able to attract major numbers of visitors from these continents in the summer season.
- St. Maarten is not very well known in Europe as a holiday destination. Traditionally Curaçaou has more and stronger ties and advertises frequently in e.g. The Netherlands domain.
- Education is instrumental in providing the highest level of service, to our guests and the highest standard of living and professional satisfaction for our people. In turn this becomes a marketing tool in itself.
- Making St. Maarten a good place to live in, by natural extension makes it a great place to visit.
- Knowing how and what to invest in building on local expertise saves money and makes investments more fruitful.
November, 2016: UPG will look at this branding issue and come up with a good strategy, analysis along with all relevant parties and stakeholders involved on the island, foresight on the issues, an advice and plan how to further optimize the position of St. Maarten as a holiday island. UPG will (co)develop a new brand to carry the numerous tourists activities throughout the year.
UPG’s first and tangible initiative
365SXM is an UPG-initiative, developed by UPG over a period of 3 months (December, 2016 till March, 2017), by St. Maarteners for St. Maarteners, which 365SXM is rooted in the belief of preserving and highlighting the culture of Sint Maarten to the further enhancement of the island’s tourism industry. The concept has been established early January, 2017, by launching the group website www.365sxm.com. Up to June, 2017, the local SXM-site makes use of the group domain.
During March and April, 2017, the next phase of 365SXM has been prepared by incorporating and registering 365SXM Group BV, a Limited Liability Company, based in The Netherlands. This company serves as the Group Holding for local entities to be established after June, 2017.
…plus a few excellent local people on the island of St. Maarten. The concept of 365 St. Maarten / St. Martin is to attract both known and new visitors and tourists to the beautiful island of St. Maarten / St. Martin. An increase of visitors and tourists stimulates and builds onto the local community and economy. A positive spiral to increase attention for good service and proudness of showing the visitors they have made the ultimate right choice coming to St. Maarten / St. Martin.
What is 365 Sint Maarten / Saint Martin?
365 St. Maarten / St. Martin is to be a pioneering, multifaceted public relations, communications, marketing, advertising and brand architecture firm with the fundamental focus marketing the island. The highly sought-after team is a dynamic powerhouse comprised of compelling publicists, media specialists, event & luxury experience experts, communication, digital media strategists and tourism specialist.
How does 365 Sint Maarten / Saint Martin operates?
Eventually covering 3 different laguages (English, French and Dutch), 365SXM will operate from local domain websites (.sx, .nl, .be, .fr and .uk) to lower the threshold of potential visitors from the different countries. The plan is to cover:
- Sint Maarten / St. Martin (English + Dutch + French)
- The Netherlands (Dutch + English)
- Belgium (Dutch + French)
- France (French)
- Great Britain (English)
Our teams are experienced at developing a diverse range of communication solutions from public relations management and brand development to marketing initiatives and global expansions – and a myriad of new, creative and modern paradigms for the development of the island tourism industry.
Status end of May, 2017