Grisha Says Canada Travel Advisory No Cause to Panic

Grisha Heyliger-Marten, Minister of Tourism, Economic Affairs, Traffic and Telecommunication.


GREAT BAY The Government of Canada has advised its citizens traveling to St. Maarten to expect “nationwide power outages.” However, in its color-coded risk level travel advisory, it still gave St. Maarten, a “Green” status, which means that travelers should “Exercise normal security precautions.”  

Commenting on the advisory, Grisha Heyliger-Marten, Minister of Tourism, Economic Affairs, Traffic and Telecommunication (TEATT), noted that “Green is the lowest risk level and indicates that the country is still safe for travel.”

“There is no cause to panic,” Heyliger-Marten said. “As a matter of fact, St. Maarten has the same risk level as Aruba and Curacao. This indicates that the destination is still considered safe and there are no significant threats to travelers’ safety.”

“In fact,” she continued, “The Netherlands and France are classified as ‘Yellow,’ meaning that Canadian travelers visiting those European countries should ‘exercise a high degree of caution’ particularly due to threats of terrorism in Europe.”

The other two risk levels are: Orange, which means Canadians should avoid non-essential travel to such an area and Red, which means travelers should avoid all travel to places so designated.

“While it is true that we are facing a crisis situation with regards to our power supply, the fact is that government is doing everything it can, in close collaboration with GEBE, to restore normal electricity supply,” the minister stated. 

Heyliger-Marten said she believes that the Government of Canada has probably taken this into account in its updated travel advisory and that is why we are still classified as “Green.” This status means that travelers should take the same precautions as they would at home in Canada, such as being aware of their surroundings and safeguarding personal belongings, but there are no significant safety or security concerns that warrant heightened caution or avoidance of travel to the island.

“We are monitoring how other source countries for our tourism industry are responding to the current power challenges we are facing, but as of now, there is no need for alarm,” Minister Heyliger-Marten stressed.