In the spirit of the World Tourism Organisation’s 2009 theme Celebrating Diversity , Saint Martin’s Tourist Office has undertaken a number of initiatives aimed at local residents and laid on a packed week of activities aimed at spreading the word about all aspects of diversity.
A week dedicated to information and awareness-raising activities was scheduled from 21 September to 26 September, culminating in World Tourism Day on 27 September, and a number of community projects were carried out.
- Visit to Collège de Quartier d’Orléans III and Lycée Polyvalent des Iles du Nord:
Pupils were inquisitive, attentive and very willing to participate. On the agenda was a general presentation of tourism, with sections on our communications strategy, marketing and partnerships, amongst others. Pupils located visitor sites on a map of the island – not as easy as it sounds! – and finished the day having gained some insight into how a tourist office works and the demands placed on the workers there.
- Radio quizzes and competitions:
A number of quizzes were organised for Diversity Week in conjunction with SOS Radio, Youth Radio and Radio Calypso, with several prizes up for grabs. Large numbers of listeners took part and many consulted the Tourist Office for answers on tourism on Saint Martin.
- Tourist Office Open Week:
The Tourist Centre open week was an opportunity for us to welcome members of the public and groups looking to find out how the Tourist Office works and also to promote their services as an association and even as an events promoter and organiser. On these open days we were fortunate to be able to share ideas and discuss future plans with a number of groups who left us confident in their ability to develop more concrete actions for the destination of Saint Martin. However, associations, promoters, events organisers, clubs and businesses were on the whole under-represented. The tourist office is open to the public all year round and we are keen to hear your proposals for projects to improve the day-to-day life of this fabulous destination.
- Exhibition and private viewing:
Since last Saturday we have been honoured to showcase the talent of two of the most celebrated artists on Saint Martin in our first painting exhibition as an EPIC (state-owned commercial undertaking). The exhibition’s main event was geared towards World Tourism Day, with a private viewing with the artists Jill and Ras Mosera. Many people attended the private viewing, which was accompanied by music. The exhibition runs until 27 September. Don’t miss the opportunity to come and view these beautiful pieces of art.
“This theme was tailor-made for us this year. The destination of Saint Martin moves to the beat of a rich diversity that surfaces on many levels: culture, music, education, cuisine and religion, and it’s important that we identify these aspects of diversity in order to sell the destination better. Saint Martin also boasts a wide range of services, from hotels to guesthouses, restaurants, eco-tourism activities, watersports and many more.
We all know of someone working directly or indirectly in the tourist industry and we should remember that tourism is everyone’s business, and not just our business at the Tourist Office.” Grégoire Dumel, Head of Local & Regional Markets
Last but not least, the Tourist Office wishes to thank all those who helped organise this tourism week, both at home and abroad.
Our thanks go to the following in particular:
- The Collège de Quartier d’Orléans and the Lycée des Iles du Nord for their professionalism.
- The residents of Saint Martin who visited us for as much information as they could lay their hands on
- The island’s local radio stations, for being such willing collaborators
- Local groups the Jolly Boys, Mr Ruffy and Ronald United for their contributions.