Travelers heading back to popular St. Maarten as flights increase, hotels and restaurants reopen, and most activities are back in operation.
NEW YORK, NY – Travelers 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 re-openings 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 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 USA and 15,683 from Canada. In contrast, the island welcomed 177,589 visitors between January and December 2018 including 67,533 from the USA and 9,162 from Canada during the same one-year period.
For its part, the St. Maarten Hospitality and 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, The Honorable 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,” said Minister Johnson.
“We are delighted to see these numbers,” said St. Maarten’s Director of Tourism May-Ling Chun. “Everyone in the industry has been working tirelessly to ensure that our tourism sector recovers strong and to let visitors know that we’re open for business. We’re very pleased to see that our loyal visitors are now returning to the island in greater numbers.”
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.
Major US carriers Delta Air Lines, American Airlines, JetBlue, United, and Spirit have all returned with regular service. Regular flights from Toronto and Montréal on Air Canada, Sunwing, and Air Transat have also resumed. The airport expects to be fully operational by Q1 2020.
Over 65% of hotels, and time-shares throughout the island have now re-opened, and guests can choose from a wide range of accommodations all featuring an updated look and design. The Villas and home-sharing industry have shown a strong increase and presence this year, providing guests with alternative accommodations.
Foodies looking to delight in the island's diverse culinary options, can choose from a wide variety of restaurants and beach bars, including old-time favorites and brand new establishments all offering improved services and facilities.
And nearly all of on-island activities from zip-lining, ATV tours, and horseback riding to sailing, kayaking, scuba diving and rum tastings are available to visitors looking to do more than just relax on one of St. Maarten’s 37 stunning beaches
Vicky is the co-founder of TravelDailyNews Media Network where she is the Editor-in Chief. She is also responsible for the daily operation and the financial policy. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Tourism Business Administration from the Technical University of Athens and a Master in Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Wales.
She has many years of both academic and industrial experience within the travel industry. She has written/edited numerous articles in various tourism magazines.