PHILIPSBURG--The St. Maarten Carnival Development Foundation (SCDF) and International Liquor and Tobacco Trading NV (ILTT) have embarked on a new partnership that both parties feel is mutually beneficial and one that benefits booth holders and other Carnival stakeholders, SCDF said in a press release on Tuesday.
ILTT is now the official beverage distribution partner of St. Maarten Carnival. The move is part of SCDF’s ongoing efforts to restructure its business practices and partnership agreements, SCDF said in the release. In ILTT’s case, the agreement is anchored in almost 30 years in support of St. Maarten Carnival, but in particular directly to SCDF.
Over the span of the agreement, SCDF will eventually receive the largest private sector contribution in the history of Carnival which will significantly assist SCDF in meeting its financial obligations, SCDF said. The new agreement also solidifies ILTT as Carnival’s largest annual corporate sponsor.
According to SCDF, ILTT’s increased involvement was the key element in stopping a hike in booth holder fees, which according to in-depth financial advice to SCDF was very low considering the size, length and business opportunities Carnival provides.
While looking to financially restructure, SCDF had intended to raise booth fees to double the normal rates, to counter the year-over-year increasing exp
enses that SCDF has to bear.
Recognising that an increase in booth fees would mean a hike in village products for an already price conscious Carnival populace, ILTT is basically subsidising the entire fee hike that the booth holders would have had to bear thereby keeping booth fees and drink prices at the present rates, SCDF said. The booth holders will stock only ILTT’s products (brand liquor, beers) and other SCDF and ILTT approved beverages and tobacco products.
The foundation said the agreement does not mean that other liquor companies that want product availability in St. Maarten Festival Village are prohibited from doing so. “However, in order to have this availability, these other companies have to go through ILTT as the official beverage distribution partner of St. Maarten Carnival.”
“In another effort to keep pricing at reasonable levels, ILTT’s increased involvement has also prevented an immediate hike in promoter fees for international shows which SCDF was considering as it re-evaluated its business practices. This will serve to help keep show pricing at affordable levels for promoters and revellers,” SCDF said.
“Additionally, ILTT will again operate its fully-stocked “Village Store” offering convenience to booth holders who can do their beverage shopping in Carnival Village at better prices.
“The relationship the foundation, ILTT and in particular the Heineken Beer Brand has nurtured over the years has made this new partnership possible. ILTT has stood with Carnival through thick and thin. The company has assisted us in our toughest financial moments and has been a solid and dedicated corporate partner. We value this company immensely. They have given back to Carnival in general and to specific stakeholders and are now continuing that trend by stepping-up for Carnival in a way that no other corporate entity has in Carnival’s history,” SCDF said.