Travellers are returning to St. Maarten in strong numbers, as the island reports a 131% increase in arrivals from January to June 2019 compared to the same period last year.
With important hotel reopenings in Q4 2018 and Q1 of 2019 coupled with major airlines increasing service to the island, tour operators are also reporting strong numbers including quadruple- digit percentage growth in sales and room nights to this popular destination.
Between January and June of this year, St. Maarten welcomed 171,543 visitors of which 107,968 were from North America: 92,285 from the US and 15,683 from Canada. In contrast, the island welcomed 177,589 visitors between January and December 2018 including 67,533 from the US and 9,162 from Canada during the same one-year period.
For its part, the St. Maarten Hospitality & Trade Association (SHTA) has also reported strong hotel occupancy rates for the first six months of the year with averages of 81.9% for Q1 2019 and 71.4% for Q2 of this year.
“These numbers highlight how much we have improved since Hurricane Irma and show the resilience of our people,” said St. Maarten’s Minister of Tourism, Economic Affairs, Traffic & Telecommunication Stuart Johnson. “As St. Maarten continues to redevelop sustainably, we are excited that the visitor numbers remain on the increase. We welcome our new and returning visitors, as we continue to promote the diversity of our tourism product and the hospitality of our people.”
Nearly two years after the passing of hurricanes Irma and Maria in September 2017, infrastructure on St. Maarten has made great strides in returning to normal, and the island has been welcoming visitors with open arms.
Regular flights from Toronto and Montreal on Air Canada, Sunwing and Air Transat have resumed. The airport expects to be fully operational by Q1 2020.
While spared the impact of Hurricane Dorian, Nassau Paradise Island’s resort and tourism partners are working together to support their island neighbours to the north.
“Our hearts go out to Abacos and Grand Bahama, and our tourism community has rallied together to try to make a difference,” said Fred Lounsberry, chief executive officer
of the Nassau Paradise Island Promotion Board. “While we’re so grateful the storm passed us without impact and we continue to welcome guests, we are equally grateful for the efforts of our partners to support our neighbours and for everyone who loves this wonderful nation.
“Some may not realize that The Bahamas, like the United States, is made up of many diverse and distinctive destinations spread over more than 5,000 square miles,” added Lounsberry. “However, we stand together as one to support each other.”
The Nassau Paradise Island Promo-tion Board and its member resorts are encouraging donations to help with the relief and recovery in Abaco and Grand Bahama. Those wishing to donate to Hurricane Dorian relief can visit: www.nassauparadiseisland.com
The St. Kitts Tourism Authority was recently presented with a Recognition Award 2018/2019 by Air Canada Vacations. The award acknowledges the successful partnership that has been developed over the years between the destination and the airline in light of the growth of the service.
The Antigua & Barbuda Tourism Authority has unveiled a fresh, new marketing campaign designed for local audiences called #CoolisClean.
The campaign, which coincides with the Tourism Authority’s global summer marketing campaign #WhatCoolLooksLike, is geared towards ensuring that Antigua and Barbuda remains one of the Caribbean’s most attractive destinations.
Inspired by the Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority’s wellness focus and recent environmental policy changes by the Government of Antigua and Barbuda, the campaign comes at the right time, and reinforces the “Keep Antigua and Barbuda” clean message.
CEO of the Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority Colin C. James says, “Developing Antigua and Barbuda as a Wellness Tourism brand is a major component of our marketing strategy. As part of the development process, in March, we held a Wellness Forum, where we sat and listened to over 100 passionate tourism stakeholders with interest in the wellness market. The creation of this campaign, comes as a direct result of discussions with these stakeholders.
“We felt it was important for us to add our voice to the conversation, allowing residents of Antigua and Barbuda to truly get the message and understand that we each have a role to play in keeping Antigua and Barbuda beautiful.”
The #CoolisClean campaign features Mr. Cool Pine, an iconic Antigua Black Pineapple, that has become a key symbol for the #WhatCoolLooksLike campaign.
Hilton has announced the signing of ROK Hotel, Kingston, Tapestry Collection by Hilton, representing the brand’s debut in Jamaica and the Caribbean.
Slated to open in 2020, the 168-room property, owned by PanJam Investment Limited, sits in a multi-purpose complex on the Kingston Waterfront and will include retail, on-site entertainment and commercial office spaces.
Under redevelopment to further revitalize the Kingston Waterfront, the 12-storey building originally opened in 1977 as the Oceana Hotel. Now, it is being transformed into ROK, Kingston, a contemporary hotel offering guests convenient access to the National Gallery of Jamaica.
“Following a year of impressive growth since the brand’s launch, including the signing of our first two properties in Peru, we are energized by our expansion in the Caribbean and Latin America,” said Jenna Hackett, global head, Tapestry Collection by Hilton. “With its deep roots in the community, the ROK Hotel, Kingston will offer guests an authentically local experience coupled with the warm and welcoming hospitality of Jamaica.”