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 over 5,000 visitor impact and high level of economic activity it generates each year.
This year, Minister of Tourism, Economic Affairs, Transport & Telecommunication the Honourable 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.”
Minister Johnson said with the average stayover of seven (7) nights and direct spending on food and drink and accommodations, the Heineken regatta generates over USD$25, million in direct and indirect spending. Heineken Regatta Village will be at Port de Plaisance this year, and the gates will open on Monday, February 25 with local events. Entry to the Heineken Regatta Village will now be free until 8:00 pm when the prize giving for the daily racing events ends on the days of the Caribbean/International Concerts starting on Friday, March 1. Persons wanting to enter the Regatta Village after 8:00pm on those days will pay only USD$15.
According to Commercial, Director for Heineken Regatta John Leon the concept has been adjusted this year thanks to the subsidy from the Ministry of Tourism.
Johnson said the increase in economic activity within the tourism destination depends on our 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 would be back online.
Already visitors planning their trips to the island have booked many hotels and guesthouses and the St. Maarten Tourist Bureau is encouraging those who do not have their bookings confirmed to do so quickly to avoid the rush.
This year’s Heineken Regatta will be a spectacular event. The organisation has already announced the return to the island of Caribbean Soca Queen Alison Hinds to St. Maarten. She will perform on Friday at Port de Plaisance and 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 Heineken Regatta.
Johnson said, “We look forward to another well-attended event this year, and our excitement will transfer to paper as we plan the fortieth anniversary of the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta next year.”
Statistics show that on an average of over 200 boats consisting of more than 2500 participating crewmembers come to the island each year to engage in one of the world’s most-watched yachting activities. The captains for these crews represent over 37 international countries 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 country.
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 1000 visitors come to the island each year from St. Kitts & 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.