SINT MAARTEN (POND ISLAND) —Minister of Tourism, Economic Affairs, Transport & Telecommunication (TEATT), the Honorable Stuart Johnson departs St. Maarten today with a "jam-packed" schedule ahead as he travels to Europe with French St. Martin Government officials and representatives of the Tourist offices on both sides of the island this month.
The entire trip has a cost of Euro.8,300.00, with an exponential value. Port St. Maarten will also be in attendance as they try to drum up a new business and speak to the improvements they have made since 2017. The overall effort is in keeping with the Ministry of TEATT's bid to drive visitor interest via Cruise Lines back to St. Maarten.
The event is organized by Hamburg Messe und Congress GmbH, in collaboration with Seatrade (Informa Markets) and held in Germany.
"Learning best practices from the Port of Hamburg, which is the leading centre for Cruise Shipping in the world has a huge value. Last year they welcomed over 2.19 million cruise passengers to their shores and recorded eleven per cent passenger increase, and eight per cent increased cruise calls," said Johnson Monday.
He said the work on St. Maarten continues as both French and Dutch Side Tourist Offices and government officials work to let the world know "St. Maarten is open for business."
"Especially after being devastated by hurricanes, this message is an important one which the world wants to know. On Sunday Rick Fox a Canadian-Bahamian retired NBA star, actor, businessman, and esports franchise owner spoke on CNN letting the world know that the Bahamas depends on their visit and encouraging them to visit," said Johnson.
The Bahamas is presently going through the first few days in the aftermath of the worst storm to reach land in The Bahamas which has displaced over 70,000 people and left many dead.
"This is the message that St. Maarten must not stop spreading to the world because we depend on visitor arrivals."
Seatrade Europe is organized by Hamburg Messe und Congress GmbH, in partnership with Seatrade (Informa Markets). The convention is from September 11-13.
"The port continues to work with our cruise partners throughout the year, and we are looking forward to attending this leading trade event. Seatrade Europe is an opportunity to have discussions with cruise line executives by reconnecting with them and networking with European cruise lines," Port St. Maarten Management said on Thursday.
Germany welcomed 2.19 million cruise passengers in 2018 and is the number three global source market according to the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA).
The Port of Hamburg is a leading centre for cruise shipping with 11% more passengers and 8% more ship calls in 2018 based on figures from the Hamburg Cruise Net.
As the cruise industry continues to grow, Germany remains a hub of innovation and is leading in its response to technological and greener cruising initiatives making it an ideal location to host the Seatrade Europe Cruise & River Cruise Convention
Johnson is scheduled to be the guest of honor at the Monaco Boat Show which be followed by a Round Table Press Conference featuring dozens of International Media Houses whose press reperceives are eager to learn more about St. Maarten's recovery efforts two years after being devastated by Hurricane Irma and Maria. He also has a scheduled visit to the Port of Rotterdam as part of efforts to garner new information and innovations in Cruise Travel.
As part of his official responsibilities, Johnson is scheduled to visit the Dutch Tourist Office on September 16 and will likely attend the opening day of the Dutch House of Parliament after a visit to St. Maarten House in Den Haag.
Amongst the issues to tackle on his trip, is St. Maarten's economic development which will be discussed when he meets with the Governor. Johnson's trip centres around Seatrade Europe Cruise and River Convention. This event is attended to each year by top executives from Cruise Lines around the globe and is an opportunity for leaders in tourism-based economies to negotiate the addition of cruise calls to their shores.