By Dana Niland
The Caribbean’s leading aviation conference is back again for a fourth edition.
This year’s Caribbean Aviation Meetup conference will be held from June 11-13 in St Maarten.
“Over the past four years the Meetup has been getting increased international interest by experts, professionals, and major players of the aviation industry. CARIBAVIA has become a brand for a unique conference format,” comments Cdr. Bud Slabbaert, the Chairman and Coordinator of the conference, “The event will be further developed to justify its reputation as the most important airlift conference in the region.”
CARIBAVIA is a “results and solutions-oriented” communication platform for stakeholders of the aviation and tourism industries.
The topics of the 30 sessions at the Meetup will vary from “Friendly Skies; Liberalizing Airlift in the Caribbean” to “Regional Airport Design for a Profit Making Concept,” and from “Re-energizing Destination Marketing” to “Training and Mentoring to Service a Demanding Clientele.”
Subjects related to airports, air traffic, service optimization, destination marketing, tourism development and more will be discussed in an interactive environment during the sessions and networking around the event.
Participants will join the 3-day event from 24 countries/territories of North and Central America, Europe and Africa, as well as the various Caribbean countries.
“The conference, besides becoming a ‘must-attend’ event for some quite influential people, is also covering a subject that the people of the Caribbean are rapidly beginning to realize is critical to their economic and social well-being,” said Vincent Vanderpool-Wallace, CARIBAVIA Board Member and former Minister of Aviation and Tourism of the Bahamas as well as former CEO of the Caribbean Tourism Organization. “We have been saying for decades that the Caribbean is the world’s most tourism-dependent region.”
“But we have failed to act on the simple fact that since most of the economic value of tourism comes from the air traveler, the Caribbean is therefore that region of the world’s most dependent on air transportation,” he said. “I think this Meetup will be seen as a most important turning point for our regional economy.”
The conference venue will be held at Simpson Bay Resort on St Maarten, the Dutch side of the island, where the sessions on the first and third day, as well as the social events will take place.
On the second conference day the sessions will be held at Grand Case airport of St.Martin on the French side, and an exclusive ‘summit’ on luxury tourism for a limited number of participants will be held and hosted by St. Barth.