By René Zwart
Amsterdam – Tourism on Sint Maarten is recovering much quicker than even the biggest optimists would have thought. This week the millionth cruise passenger of this year was welcomed, the number of available hotel rooms increased from now 1,000 to 3,000 mid-December and of the 300 restaurants there are now again 150 back in full operation. As of November the first part of the terminal of Juliana Airport will be open again passengers, all beaches are as inviting as for hurricane Irma and 21 of the 26 airlines now service Sint Maarten again, including KLM with three flights a week from November.
Minister Stuart Johnson of Tourism, Economic Affairs and Telecommunication (TEAT) and director May Ling Chun of the Sint Maarten Tourist Bureau personally presented the good news to the Dutch travel sector today. They did this during a specially organized ‘State of the Industry Event’ at the Muziekgebouw aan ‘t IJ in Amsterdam. To enhance their pitch, there was a live connection with three sunny locations on Sint Maarten. The images prove that the island is ready to receive stay-over tourists.
Minister Johnson announced a close collaboration with the French part: Sint Maarten and Saint Martin are going to profile themselves as a single holiday destination. Reason why, on behalf of the Tourist Office, Saint Martin Olivier Louis today, together with Ling Chun, informed those present about the progress made with the restoration of the tourist infrastructure. The collaboration will also be visible during the Vakantiebeurs in Utrecht: the tourist offices will present themselves there in a joint stand – together with Saba and St. Eustatius.