As a result of the re-branding efforts of the St. Maarten Tourist Bureau, the Dutch island has increased its tourist arrivals by 7.9 percent for the first quarter and 2.1 percent in the first six months of 2010 versus 2009.
The branding campaign, launched last November, was created by the island's advertising agency, Tambourine and promoted by KTCpr, St. Maarten's public relations firm.
"Since the launch of the U.S. branding campaign in November 2009, KTCpr has promoted the island through a variety of consumer media outlets as well as working closely with Tambourine," said Richard S. Kahn, president of KTCpr, in a written release. "In addition to new branding, logos, television and print advertising, we have implemented both regional and nationwide promotions and facilitated group and individual press trips highlighting different aspects of the island, all resulting in positive feedback from travelers, industry professionals and the media."
"We attribute our first quarter growth to KTCpr and Tambourines's marketing strategies which were designed to coincide with the peak winter travel season, while capturing the feelings of the experience that visitors elicit during their stay in St. Maarten," said Regina LaBega, director of tourism for the St. Maarten Tourist Bureau, in a release.
The first quarter of 2010 also saw a boost in hotel occupancy by 5.7 percent. The average timeshare occupancy during the first three months was 83.3 percent. Cruise passenger arrivals for the first quarter totaled 542,012, a slight increase from 2009's 541,023.
Between January and March 2010, St. Maarten's total air arrivals reached 160,908, up from 149,065 in 2009. U.S. visitors accounted for 47.5 percent of the total air arrivals at 76,430.