We live in an Information Age where reliable, up-to-date,
factual information is the key to decision-making, whether
it be in government, in the private sector, or at the
personal level. At Your Service, the new quarterly
electronic newsletter of the St. Maarten Tourist Bureau,
meets that demand for authoritative information about
developments on the island. It is a tool, which I am
confident, all readers will find useful.
A lot indeed has been happening on our Friendly Island,
a lot of improvements in virtually every area, which
will hopefully make visiting St. Maarten one of the
most pleasant choices you would ever make. Joining our
state-of-the-art Dr. A.C. Wathey Cruise and Cargo Facility
is an ultra-modern new terminal building at the Princess
Juliana International Airport, which will become operational
in September. We are not only investing in the gateways
to our island, but also in the beautification of the
capital of St. Maarten, Philipsburg, all in an attempt
to improve the quality of life of our citizens and contribute
to a more positive tourist experience.
The St. Maarten island government, as well as all the
stakeholders in our industry, is committed to making
your visit a most memorable experience you would proudly
talk about for a long time. We not only look forward
to you spending your vacation with us, but also hope
you would recommend our island to others.
Welcome to this new source of information about our
island, and we promise we would do all within our power
to make your visit an enjoyable one.
Welcome. At Your Service is the electronic
newsletter of the St. Maarten Tourist Bureau, a quarterly
publication meant for visitors and industry “owners”
to keep abreast of developments in St. Maarten, as well
as other relevant information.
In this maiden edition, we focus on the forthcoming
opening of the new terminal building of the Princess
Juliana International Airport and the Westin St. Maarten
Dawn Beach Resort, Spa and Residences. These major developments
would impact significantly on the industry.
The island is undergoing a lot of changes, all of which
cannot be included at the same time in a newsletter
like this. However, these will be highlighted in due
We welcome suggestions for improvement from our readers,
as well as questions that you may wish answered with
factual information. We encourage you to use this newsletter
as much as possible and tell your friends and families
Thank you for choosing to visit us and as always, we
remain at your service.
It’s a St. Maarten
Summer special! Book one of our great package deals,
and get every second activity ticket free at 12 Metre
Regatta, Rapid Explorer, Dive Sapharis and Snorkel Sapharis.
“Get Twice the Vacation, Twice the Value”
means 5th Night Free, 5th Day Car Rental Free, 2nd Activity
Ticket Free—Valid for Rack Rate Bookings from
April 22 through December 15, 2006. There are at least
15 participating hotels and five car rentals at your
Each booking with a minimum of 5 nights will receive
the 5th night free, the 5th day car rental free and
coupons that entitle you to 2 tickets at participating
activities for the price of one. This offer cannot be
combined with any other promotional offer. Advance reservations
are required: www.visitsxm.com/accommodations/specials.cfm.
Black-out dates and other restrictions apply (Travel
window is 04-22-2006 through 12-15-2006 and booking
window is 04-01-2006 through 12-10-2006).
2006, a resounding success
The St. Maarten Annual Regional Tradeshow (SMART) got
off to a smart start this year. Participants from North
America, South America, the Caribbean, and Europe were
welcomed on May 12, 2006, with a unique evening view
of the colorful folkloric parade known as the “Boardwalk
Mas,” a cultural treat that grew out of the Tourism
Master Plan (TourMap), from the beachfront of the Holland
SMART brings together buyers, in other words, wholesalers
and tour operators with suppliers—the hotels,
tourism departments, excursion agents, etc. in a very
congenial atmosphere for business.
SMART has been growing steadily in both quantity and
quality since it began four years ago, and this year’s
edition has been hailed a resounding success with participants
looking forward to their next SMART date in 2007.
Annual St. Martin Book Fair
One for the books
island’s cultural calendar for June 2006, opened
with the 4th Annual St. Martin Book Fair. It was the
first stop for renowned poet, historian, critical thinker
and essayist, Dr. Kamau Brathwaite after he won Canada’s
prestigious Griffin poetry prize.
From June 1 – 3, 2006, the book took center stage
under the theme, “Migration: Movement of the People.”
The event opened with speeches by Com. of Education
and Leader of Government, Sarah Wescot-Williams, Regional
Councilor Louis Mussington, the keynote address by England’s
famed reggae poet, Linton Kwesi Johnson, and concluded
with the launch of Skin, a new poetry book
by St. Martin’s Drisana Deborah Jack www.houseofnehesipublish.com.
The book fair organizers, Conscious Lyrics Foundation
and House of Nehesi Publishers, in collaboration with
the University of St. Martin (USM), outdid themselves
with the caliber of invited authors/participants from
the Caribbean, USA, Europe and India, and in keeping
the event accessible to a wider cross-section of the
public, with special emphasis on the youth. The St.
Maarten Tourist Bureau is the major sponsor of the annual
St. Martin Book Fair.