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Island News

St.Maarteners have Fun at USC Tropical Bonanza

sunrise at the beachSt. Maarteners and others with Caribbean roots residing in different cities in the Netherlands enjoyed the first Tropical Bonanza of the Unified St. Maarten Connection (USC) at Lindo Beach in  Scheveningen, Holland last week. 

The fundraising event, which aimed at bringing the Caribbean to the Netherlands, was a combination of USC’s flagship event Eats N’ Treats, combined with sporting activities.  In the past year, USC has regularly organized highly successful sports events in The Hague which served as a get together for mainly St. Maarteners and other Windward Islands. 

Indoor beach location stirred up a true Caribbean feeling, especially for the persons who are not able to return home for the summer, said USC Netherlands Chapter Director Christella Garand. 

Taloula Mango's/Blue Bitch Earns Back to Back Trip Advisor Awards

bluebitchbar

Taloula Mango’s/Blue Bitch Bar once again received a TripAdvisor Award of Excellence for 2017.  The Boardwalk Boulevard restaurant has been receiving the award since 2013.  Norman Wathey, co-owner of Taloula Mango’s along with his wife Su, pointed out that with 841 reviews Taloula Mango’s is among the most reviewed on the island.  “Much of the award has to do with staff.  They’re sincere, friendly, dedicated and a potpourri of the Caribbean.  Some staff members have been with us since we opened our doors on January 10, 2004.  Quite a number of the positive reviews mention the staff as family and the reason to go back to Taloula Mango’s,” stated a proud Su Wathey.

Nature Foundation Organizes Shark Count

sharkcountAs part of the “Save Our Sharks” Project, Nature Foundation has organized the very first Kingdom Shark Count in cooperation with several local dive schools including Ocean Explorers, Dive Safaris and Dive Adventures. The shark count was executed simultaneously on all six Dutch Caribbean islands and in the Netherlands. The shark count contributes significantly to the Nature Foundation’s scientific research into the abundance and movement patterns of sharks in local waters.  The count also provides insight into the state of our shark population and seasonal and yearly patterns of sharks on valuable coral reefs.  Sharks are very important to the health of coral reefs, oceans and fish stock; therefore this research has great value for the Nature Foundation and St. Maarten.

News Courtesy of Caribbean Gems

United States, St.Maarten Sign Open Skies Agreement

The United States and St. Maarten signed a modernized bilateral open skies agreement that will continue to foster opportunities for air travel and commerce between the two countries.  This agreement modernizes the US-St. Maarten relationship by reducing administrative burdens on carries and governments, clarifying route rights and reaffirming mutual adherence to international safety and security standards.  The modernized agreement strengthens the partnership and economic ties between the United States and Sint Maarten.  It continues to preserve commercial opportunities and travel options for airlines, travelers, businesses, airports and localities, with unrestricted market access for passenger and cargo flights between the two countries and beyond. 

 

 

News Courtesy of Caribbean Gems

Rockland Estate Park Seen as Boost to St.Maarten Tourism

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Rockland revved up its chairlift to offer a sneak peek into the country’s newest attraction to set to open around the end of summer.  Tourism and Economic Affairs Minister Melissa Arrindell-Doncher, who experienced the adventure activity for the first time told the Press that as she stood on the viewing deck of Sentry Hill that this newest addition to the country’s portfolio will “definitely boost tourism” to the destination. 

She said, “It was amazing she said of the experience, adding that the product is well poised to market itself as a featured attraction.  The view on the way up and at the top could not have been imagines, she said, as almost every few metres reveal something different.  The views at certain point highlight Anguilla, St. Barths, Saba and St. Eustatius and Tintamarre.

 

Courtesy Caribbean Gems

StMaarten.org for Sale

stmaartenlogo4After 22 years of writing and reporting about businesses on StMaarten/StMartin, their wonderful people, advertising their products, events, activities, and satisfying the needs and wants of tourists from all over the globe, I am retiring. As I approach my 75th birthday, it’s time for a younger team to run this business. Here are several featured highlights:

  • St.Maarten.org is the oldest dedicated StMaarten/StMartin website created in April 1995 with the designator .org when only three existed - .com, .net and .org.
  • Visitors to www.StMaarten.org have included several million tourists from 205 countries including all the Canadian Provinces, and 49 US States. Annually, hundreds of thousands of Travellers visit StMaarten.org. And since each visitor has a spouse, partner or travel friend, it doubles travellers to our site.
  • Since 1995, our 204 page guide book, The Value Guide of St. Maarten/St. Martin has provided an imaginative and visual glimpse of this wonderful exciting island to tourists from countries around the world. This savvy travelers’ guide overflows with information on hotels, restaurants, duty-free shops, water sports, car rentals, scuba diving, and other activities.
  • In addition, our bimonthly newsletter The StMaarten/StMartin Connection Newsletter which was created in May 1997 has been read by thousands of subscribers.
  • Our Facebook Page, The Best of StMaarten/StMartin, which was created in August 2016, has more than 15,000 Likes/Followers. In addition, our Facebook Page is growing by more than 1,769 new Likes/Followers each month.
  • Our Gift Certificates Guide, Restaurant Guide and Hotel Guide represents hundreds of dollars of potential savings offered by participating St. Maarten/St. Martin businesses as an introduction for travelers to patronize their establishments.
  • Of the millions of Search Engine Listings on the Worldwide Internet, when tourists search for “st. maarten” on any of the World’s Top Search Engines, StMaarten.org is usually listed in the third to ninth position on their first page.
  • Sam Fusco, Owner and Managing Director of www.StMaarten.org, is the winner of the 2006/2007 St. Maarten Hospitality & Trade Association’s Crystal Pineapple Award for Outstanding Tourism Journalism and a former Board Member of the St. Maarten/St. Martin American Marketing Association.
  • StMaarten.org provides island businesses with visibility to six of the World’s Seven Continents namely Africa, Australia, Asia, Europe, North America & South America.

We are currently entertaining offers of $25,000 and above. Please email Sam Fusco at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or telephone 1.973.835.0600 for additional information.

St.Maarten in Talks to Host International Film Festival

stmaarten film festivalMinister of Tourism and Economic Affairs Melissa Arrindell-Doncher will soon begin exploratory discussions to host an international film festival/film related event in St. Maarten. She explained that for the economy of a destination like St. Maarten, a film festival can be a great way to diversify St. Maarten’s tourism product and attract the luxury visitor and film writers from around the globe. 

She said, “Film fetivals attract tourits from all over.  A filmmaker will usually travel across the world to attend and promote a screening of their film.  It also attract media professionals and film fans who, if treated well will return home to rave about the festival and the country hosting it."