Government continues to support annual regatta | THE DAILY HERALD

PHILIPSBURG–Perhaps the second largest single event for St. Maarten each year, the Heineken Regatta has again received support from the Government of St. Maarten because of its more-than-5,000-visitor impact and the high level of economic activity it generates each year. The annual subsidy as a contribution from government is NAf. 350,000.

  According to a press release from the ministry on Sunday, Minister of Tourism, Economic Affairs, Transport and Telecommunication (TEATT) Stuart Johnson said, “Sponsoring the Heineken Regatta at a time when we desperately need activities to generate spending and boost the economy is a no-brainer.” It should be noted that the contribution is a subsidy and not a sponsorship.

  Johnson said that with the average stayover of seven nights and direct spending on food and drink and accommodations, the Heineken Regatta generates more than US $25 million in direct and indirect spending. Heineken Regatta Village will be at Princess Port de Plaisance this year, and the gates will open on Monday, February 25, with local events.

  According to Heineken Regatta Commercial Director John Leone, the concept has been adjusted this year thanks to the subsidy from TEATT.

  Johnson said an increase in economic activity within the tourism destination depends on St. Maarten’s ability to create events that attract people to the island. He said putting the right foot forward this year is especially critical as the 2020 celebration of Heineken-40 will be even more important to generate activity for hotels that will be back online. 

  Visitors planning their trips to the island have booked many hotels and guesthouses already and the St. Maarten Tourist Bureau is encouraging those who do not have their bookings confirmed to do so quickly to avoid the rush.

  The organisation has already announced the return to the island of Caribbean Soca Queen Alison Hinds, who will perform at Port de Plaisance on Friday, and the arrival of the legendary Jacksons who will be live on stage for the first time ever in St. Maarten on Sunday, the final night of the Regatta. 

  Johnson added, “We look forward to another well-attended event this year, and our excitement will transfer to paper as we plan the 40th anniversary of the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta next year.”

  Statistics show that an average of more than 200 boats with more than 2,500 participating crew members come to the island each year to engage in one of the world’s most-watched yachting activities.

  The captains of these crews represent more than 37 countries internationally, giving the event even more direct reach globally, as these captains’ participation in the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta is recorded each year by the local media houses in their countries.

  Featured on ESPN, the Heineken Regatta attracts international media presence from around the globe with more than 26 registered websites featuring a combination of upwards of 100,000 viewers each day during the four days of boat racing and concerts.

  More than 1,000 visitors come to the island each year from St. Kitts and Nevis, Antigua, and other surrounding islands, and that number is significantly higher for US nationals who come to the island each year around this time to participate in the fun and games.

Source: The Daily Herald