Visitor numbers for the island are up thanks to air links from Europe and North America
Since 2016, Martinique has bolstered its activities with a view to developing connections by air. These efforts have resulted in record numbers of inbound tourists to Martinique in 2018 with 1,046,735 visitors, a 0.5% rise on the previous year. We started by asking Karine Mousseau, Martinique’s Tourism Commissioner, to tell us what’s new when it comes to air links.
Our strategy of developing air connections from European and American cities is beginning to pay off. We already had non-stop flights from Paris, Montreal, New York, Miami, Fort Lauderdale and Providence. In 2018 we launched non-stop flights from Frankfurt and Nantes. We also now have connexions from Berlin and Milan. Since then, international traf c to Martinique has experienced a real boom as of November 2018.
OUR STRATEGY OF DEVELOPING AIR CONNECTIONS FROM EUROPEAN AND AMERICAN CITIES IS BEGINNING TO PAY OFF
What are the key lines of the 2019 plan?
Results in 2018 were promising, but we feel that we have the potential to do even better, so we have worked on an ambitious action plan for 2019 focusing on six strategic areas:
- Developing air connections by securing the existing routes and by actively seeking out new airline partnerships working with our key source markets: France, Germany, USA, Canada and South America;
- Raising awareness of the destination through communication campaigns with major media to broadcast our TV commercial that premiered in 2017
- Analysing insights about our offer thanks to our Economic Observatory for Tourism that carries out statistical studies on tourist clienteles (holiday stays, boating, etc);
- Improving the digital experience through a robust strategy that places the visitor at the heart of our digital ecosystem and, in this way, facilitates the preparation of their stay, follows-up on their holiday and encourages repeat visits;
- Structuring our sub-sectors, including theme holidays such as spiritual, gastronomy, business, boating, sailing, cruises and the ecology with a real desire for improving the quality of our facilities; and
- Establishing and sustaining events during the low season.
In November 2019, Martinique will organise the second edition of a major innovative event known as the Martinique Flying Regatta, which brings together some of the most beautiful yachts in the world. We will strengthen our business tourism offer in order to host a growing number of congresses. In addition, the fifth edition of the Raid des Alizés, a competition that is 100% female, 100% nature and 100% socially responsible, will take place here between November 26 and December 1.
“Green” tourism is part of your promotion. How important is this?
Martinique is one of the world’s 35 biodiversity hotspots with a natural habitat that occupies two-thirds of our territory. Conscious of the challenges our climate faces and our own constraints as an island, the preservation of our natural environmental heritage is one of our key priorities. We are fully committed to activities that protect, showcase and bring to life our sites and activities such as nature reserves, sustainable agriculture and fair-trade holidays.
How does ITB Berlin “ fit in” as a platform for Martinique, and why?
Martinique Tourism Authority would like to show visitors, journalists, tour operators and travel agents that how the destination evolves in a positive way and offers unique opportunities and attractions for the European, and particularly the German, clienteles. We are also committed to a collective approach. We promote our destination in partnership with suppliers from Martinique who join us during all our promotional activities.
ITB is a leading trade show because of its scale, the quality of the meetings that take place and the need for our destination to support direct air routes.
Photo: Karine Mousseau, Martinique’s Tourism Commissioner