New initiatives to promote tourism in off-season

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PHILIPSBURG – In a bid to boost tourism revenue and activity during the off-season, Minister of Tourism Ingrid Arrindell announced several initiatives that the Ministry of  Tourism, Economic Affairs, Traffic and Telecommunication (TEATT) is pursuing.

Speaking at the Council of Ministers press conference Wednesday, May 18, Arrindell said the Ministry will be looking at hosting events on St. Maarten that will attract visitors during the off-season.

“One of those areas that we are looking into are the music festivals. These music festivals will cover the season from March to November. We have a number of events that are being planned for the upcoming months,” Minister Arrindell said.

She also made a case for the pursuit of sports tourism. “We have the sports tourism that we are looking into; the branding and promotion of the World Series of Poker event. Also we have contact with a company that is interested in constructing a professional athlete facility for the NBA on the island,” Minister Arrindell stated.

Minister Arrindell also said that the ministry will look at multi-cultural tourism and religious tourism. “The market of the multi-cultural and heritage tourism is a fast growing segment industry. We can tap into this industry, and gain a share in the 90 plus billion multi-cultural heritage that this market share has,” she added.

As for religious tourism, she announced that two gospel events are scheduled to be held in St. Maarten during the summer that will bring tourists to the island. “One will be in the month of July where (a) cruise line will have a gospel group of over 200 gospel singers and we will be hosting them here at the boardwalk at the Walter Plantz Square,” Minister Arrindell revealed. She said the other event is still being negotiated, but is expected to attract persons from all over the Caribbean and the USA.