PHILIPSBURG – In a bid to attract more visitors to St. Maarten, Minister of Tourism Ingrid Arrindell is seeking to partner and offer support to organizers of the recently held St. Maarten Music Festival.
The Minister was exceptionally pleased with the quality and number of tourists that visited St. Maarten for this event. “This Festival has shown great potential to the island because…there were about 2,000 visitors that came and there were direct flights from the US, from Amsterdam, New York,” she said. “I visited the venues and I was surprised to see the amount of visitors,” she added. She noted that visitors who came for the event were young and affluent, based on information she garnered from the Festival’s organizers.
Government, she disclosed, offered its support by opening up the Festival Village late so that the event could be held. She even noted that the Festival attracted additional visitors who were originally destined for St. Barths, and they spent quite a bit of money on the island. “There was an airline from Azerbaijan (and the occupants) wanted to visit St. Barths and Anguilla, and they were told there was a festival…he was invited there and I was told he spent over $60,000,” Arrindell said, adding that the Festival will be an annual event.
Meanwhile, the Minister is particularly interested in developing faith-based tourism. “There is a group that will come on a cruise ship with 200 gospel singers and it’s going to be free, and we are going to organize this event as well,” Arrindell said.
In addition, she met with Winair representatives to help fill the void from Puerto Rico with the departure of JetBlue. Both Winair and Air Antilles will co-share on the St. Maarten-San Juan route.
Arrindell also disclosed another area that the St. Maarten Tourist Bureau is pursuing in a bid to improve the island’s gaming reputation. Together with Sonesta Maho Resort, the Tourism Ministry is working on organizing the St. Maarten leg of the World Poker Tournament, to be held later this year.
Source: 721 news Minister Arrindell throws support behind St. Maarten Music Festival