Caribbean Island of St. Martin - French Side
Radisson St. Martin Resort, Marina & Spa Case Study
Destination + Resort Marketing
Carlson Companies purchased a property on the French side of the island of St. Martin and rebranded it the Radisson St. Martin Resort, Marina & Spa. Following a multi-million dollar renovation, the resort opened and needed to quickly hit the ground running to fill guest rooms because of repeated construction delays.
As with many Caribbean island governments and tourism promotion efforts, the territories or overseas collectivities are controlled by their home country with respect to destination marketing organizations (DMO) staffing, budgeting and promotional efforts to generate awareness of the destination. As such, many resorts are left to play politics and curry favor with government staff to do what other DMOs do routinely. Such was the case with French St. Martin. Individual properties were required to budget and sell the resort AND the destination.
We were brought onboard pre-opening to create marketing tools when none, or dated information, existed. Flying Compass continued working with the resort in that same role (later rebranded as Radisson Blu St. Martin) until the property was sold a number of years later.
All resort collateral materials and websites that Flying Compass designed and developed promoted the resort as well as the destination. While highlighting the opportunity to get away and relax, guests also needed to be convinced that the resort’s remote location on the north part of the island offered ample activities and had an adequate number of restaurants and bars on property, on island and at nearby islands. During the off-season, residents were a key target market.
As part of marketing the resort, it was necessary to highlight the native foreign language and availability of English-speaking staff, lifts (flights) and airports, ground and water transportation, currency conversion, local customs and culture, personal safety and tourism activities on the adjoining Dutch side of the island, Sint Marteen.
As the resort’s target markets included French and English speaking countries, all materials were designed in English and then translated to French. Our designs took into consideration that the French translations required more space for copy.
Separate dual language websites were created for the restaurants, destination wedding services, the marina, airport to/from resort water transfers, and the full service salon and spa. Bookings for water transfers were scheduled and paid online. The French-English spa website also included an admin area for tracking appointments and updating services and pricing.
Flying Compass has been marketing award-winning island destinations for more than 35 years.
Island resorts in the Caribbean require an agency with experience in selling the property as well as the destination. Once brought in, Flying Compass quickly began identifying and accessing background on various destination assets, soaking up the history, learning the resort’s and island’s secrets, seeking institutional knowledge – to avoid pitfalls made by others – all while creating a comprehensive baseline foundation to begin marketing the resort and destination.
Because Flying Compass has a solid working knowledge of tourism marketing and in selling island resorts, we understand how all the pieces fit together – leisure, meetings, sales, advertising, and resort activities – children’s programs, marina services, watersport rentals, spa offerings, special events and food and beverage (F&B). We also understand tourism distribution channels and the travel behaviors of consumers.
Destinations are second nature to us. We understand how they work and what is needed to continue to drive bookings, visitors and repeat guests.