PORT ST. MAARTEN – Port St. Maarten Management took a number of measures as a pro-active approach to ensure that the approximately 10,000 cruise passengers in town today-Thursday, enjoyed their stay on the island without any discomfort. The vessels in port today were: Celebrity Summit, Arcadia, Eurodam and Freedom of the Seas.
The action was prompted due to a planned demonstration in Marigot with possible road blocks on the French side of the island.
A number of tours were planned for the French side, and due to the aforementioned, alternative options had to be implemented, and cruise passengers spent most of their time in the Philipsburg area which may have led to additional traffic congestion.
There was also extra entertainment at the cruise port for the visitors to enjoy. Port St. Maarten Management had informed stakeholders, and the cruise vessels were also advised of the aforementioned so that cruise passengers could be informed and were aware of the changes.
Port St. Maarten Management added that cruise destinations must be able to adapt very quickly when you have a changing environment in order to safeguard the visitor experience, but also the safety and security of cruise passengers. The cruise passenger visitor experience is very important for a destination as this determines cruise ship itineraries.
The Caribbean is the largest cruise destination in the world that attracts over 20 million cruise passengers annually. Destination Sint Maarten received over two million cruise passengers last year.
Cruise passenger destination experiences are essential and therefore not only Port St. Maarten, but local stakeholders in the industry also have a role to play in working with port authorities to adapt and create an alternative that offers cruise passengers an excellent stay on the island.
The Great Bay Master Plan 2 includes additional land development initiatives which are essential in developing marque tours for the cruise experience foot print. Besides offering new tours, it also contributes to the evenly disbursement of cruise passengers throughout the town of Philipsburg and its environs.
As a mature cruise destination, all stakeholders have a responsibility to make sure that visitor’s health and safety are priority number one, as this assures long-term sustainability of the destination when it comes to stay-over and cruise tourism.
Port St. Maarten based on 50-years of cruise business experience is well aware of the requirements of the cruise sector and takes the necessary proactive approaches and measures where needed in order to maintain the country’s number one position as a mature destination.
Port St. Maarten Management would like to thank all stakeholders for their understanding and working together to maintain an excellent visitor experience which works in the best interests of all concerned creating a sustainable long-term future for all.
Port St. Maarten Management wished cruise passengers a wonderful stay on the island today-Thursday as they enjoyed the hospitality of the people.
PHOTO CUTLINE: Port St. Maarten.