News that St. Maarten is looking into hosting an international film festival is welcome. There can be little doubt that the island could use some more interesting events to help draw visitors especially during the slow season.

Of course, there are already many famous similar festivals all over the world, including some in the Caribbean. When it comes to the latter, consistency has often been a problem.

For that reason such an undertaking requires proper planning and, above all, commitment of several years, to increase the chance of long-term success. There are also secondary benefits like educational opportunities.

Especially young filmmakers might be inspired to achieve great things regarding the producing of future movies that could help promote the destination in the process. It’s a huge global industry in which creativity obviously plays a big role.

However, as with most tourism-related projects, a solid cost-benefit analysis is advisable to determine whether the event and its expected spinoff are worth the kind of money local stakeholders, including Government, probably will have to spend. In that sense, it’s very much about the bottom line.

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