The virtual Martinique Travel Show (MTS) kicks off next week on May 18, with an array of conferences featuring representatives from the Martinique Tourism Authority, Atout France, Air Canada Vacations and TripAdvisor, among others. Conference topics include everything from Martinique’s tourism recovery statistics to the state of the cruise industry in the Caribbean as well as trends in tourism and the new behaviors of travelers.
During a press conference earlier this week, François Baltus-Languedoc, CEO of the Martinique Tourism Authority, noted that as a new event, “MTS provides a fantastic opportunity to get together to network and create business opportunities. We also want you to learn about the destination and learn more about the industry. There will be about 50 exhibitors with 3D booths as well as 10 conferences led by experts in the travel industry. After a difficult year, it is time to reinvent ourselves and to fight back.”
To register, click here.
Martinique—spreading out over 425 sq. miles of which two-thirds are protected—is still closed to visitors, with no timeline yet announced, but as Baltus-Languedoc says, things are moving forward. “In about two weeks, so by the end of May, the curfew will be lifted, and the situation is getting much, much better. The restaurants should open, all tourism attractions should be operating. When we reopen, everything will be possible. Obviously, you need to wear your mask and be protected, and we encourage our visitors to get the vaccination as it’s important for the Martinique population. But you will be able to enjoy everything on the island.”
That said, there’s no definitive date on when the American Airlines flight out of Miami will resume. “That’s the one-million-dollar question,” says Baltus-Languedoc. “We are hoping that we can restart the connection probably between September and December. The good news is that American Airlines used to have only one flight per week and now they want to add two more flights weekly, so we will have three flights a week between MIA and Fort-de-France.
In terms of protocols, it’s a French territory, so “we have the same protocols as in France,” says Baltus-Languedoc. “It’s very strict and protective of the population and the visitors. We are very confident that visitors can come to Martinique and feel safe. We have all the necessary infrastructure to feel safe when you visit Martinique.” He points out that come summer, “a good portion of the population will be vaccinated, which is very important so we can welcome our visitors in a safe environment.”
During the downtime, the hotel infrastructure has gotten a facelift, with Baltus-Languedoc noting that Hotel Plein Soleil is now a four-star property. “We have new villas that are opening, so yes, the island is preparing for the return of visitors with renovations.”
Additionally, the Grand Port of Martinique has implemented sanitary protocols and there are new sites for anchoring, such as the Harbor of Saint-Pierre, which will allow small high-end ships to sojourn in the famous city of art and history. The Martinique Aime Cesaire International Airport, meanwhile, is undergoing a complete refurbishment whose plan the extension of the passenger terminal and the modernization of the airport’s infrastructure.