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St. Maarten’s tourism sector felt a boost this month as Celebrity Cruises started to homeport ships beginning June 5. The momentum is expected to carry into August, when luxury operator Crystal Cruises will start itineraries from Philipsburg, St. Maarten with Crystal Symphony.
“We have gradually seen an increase of visitors coming back to our shores,” says May Ling Chung, St. Maarten’s director of tourism, noting that most of its carriers are again servicing the destination.
The majority of hotels have reopened on both the Dutch and French sides of the island, including Secrets Resort & Spa, a new all-inclusive resort with 258 suites. Wearing a mask is mandatory in communal areas and dining at accommodations is offered with table spacing to facilitate social distancing.
In addition to hotels, tourism representatives report that villa rentals are increasingly popular and vaccination rates are on the rise.
“We have nightlife, we have restaurants, we’re known for [being] the gastronomy capital of the Caribbean,” adds Valérie Damaseau, president of the St. Martin Tourist Office.
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