St. Maarten Update

 

Coral Beach Club
Coral Beach Club villas have private pools.

 

The Dutch Caribbean destination of St. Maarten, which shares an island with its French neighbor, St. Martin, continues to refresh its product offerings with everything from new airlift to newly renovated hotels and more. Travel Agent breaks down all you need to know to make this destination an even easier pitch to clients.

Resort News

The Sonesta Maho Beach Resort & Casino was slated to complete a $3 million refurbishment and enhancement project this month, resulting in a makeover as it becomes a true all-inclusive resort, where it joins its on-island sister property, the Sonesta Great Bay Beach Resort & Casino

Direct any queries to Kevin Matier ([email protected], 800-223-0757), director of sales and marketing for both hotels.

Coral Beach Club recently announced that this winter it will be installing a common pool for all guests’ use. Villa guests have enjoyed private pools, but for guests not staying in villas, a common pool will enhance the property by offering a place to take a dip after a long day in the St. Maarten sun. 

Get in touch with Sales and Marketing Director Anju Snow-Baharani ([email protected], 866-978-7278) for more information.

The Westin St. Maarten Dawn Beach Resort & Spa is enticing groups to head to St. Maarten with its “Four Night Group Spectacular” package. This offer targets companies, incentive groups, weddings and groups of at least 25 rooms with a four-night package starting at $449 per person, based on double occupancy in oceanfront rooms. 

The offer includes hotel accommodations for four nights, complimentary breakfast buffet each morning, welcome or farewell reception, and pirates buffet dinner featuring live Caribbean dancers and fire show. This offer is valid on new reservations for travel April 7-October 31, 2013. Additional nights are available from $88 per person, per night. Resort fees and taxes are not included.

Also at the Westin St. Maarten, every Thursday, Friday and Saturday guests can enjoy “The Westin Sunset Party by the Beach” from 4 to 7 p.m., with live music from the island’s hottest singers. 

Reach out to Sales and Marketing Director Sharon Naehring ([email protected]) with any queries. 

New Airlift

St. Maarten recently announced that Delta Air Lines will be launching weekly direct service to the island from New York to Princess Juliana Airport (SXM) as of December 15. The air service will occur every Saturday with a departing 9:05 a.m. flight from New York, which arrives in St. Maarten at 2:15 p.m. with returning flights leaving St. Maarten at 3:15 p.m. the same day and arriving in New York at 6:05 p.m. The new route will provide convenient connections for both international and stateside travelers as well as offer added variety for northeast travelers.

New Cards Speed Up Clearance 

St. Maarten has developed a Tourism Statistical Data Information System (TSIS) along with new immigration cards for arriving and departing clients to the island to facilitate easier and faster clearance through the airport.

Under St. Maarten law, clients are required to provide complete information on these new immigration cards. The new TSIS scanners are in-place at Princess Juliana Airport, and travelers coming and going through customs will experience less of a wait time, thus getting more time to enjoy the island.

 

Sonesta Maho Beach Resort & Casino
Premium Room at Sonesta Maho Beach Resort & Casino

 

The arrival cards are available on all airlines servicing St. Maarten and at counters in the arrival hall just before immigration at the airport. The new cards will now have to be scanned into a scanning device located at the front of the immigration booths.

The departure cards will be available at the respective hotel properties, immigration, airline counters at check-in, as well as other locations at the airport before reaching the security checkpoint.

Attention Adventure Seekers

For the watersports lovers among your clientele, Aqua Mania Adventures has opened at Divi Little Bay Beach Resort. Activities at Aqua Mania include parasailing, WaveRunner rentals, deep-sea fishing excursions, scuba and snorkeling trips, sunset sail and dinner cruises, day trips to neighboring islands and more. 

By the Numbers

Travel to St. Maarten during the first half of 2012 took a sharp upswing as compared to 2011. Visitor and air arrivals have both increased 8.5 percent, creating a 56.6 percent growth in hotel occupancy during that time. Less than four hours from New York or Miami, direct fights are offered by such carriers as American, Continental, Delta, Jet Blue, Spirit, US Airways and United.

St. Maarten has always been a popular destination for travelers who vacation on the island and it is becoming increasingly popular as a main port of call for cruise passengers. St. Maarten’s port has seen an increase of 9 percent during the first half of 2012 as compared to the first half of 2011. Day trips to the island afford travelers the option to take in the scenic beauty and do some duty-free shopping.

SMART Trade Show

SMART—the Sint Maarten/Saint Martin Annual Regional Tradeshow—will be held May 15 to May 17, 2013, at the Sonesta Maho Beach Resort & Casino. The event will bring together not only tourist industry suppliers from the host island, but also from Anguilla, Antigua, Barbuda, British Virgin Islands, Dominica, Guadeloupe, Montserrat, Saba, St. Barthelemy, St. Eustatius, and St. Kitts and Nevis. Highlights include two days of pre-scheduled appointments. For additional information, call 011-1-721-542-0108 or click on the events calendar at en.vacationstmaarten.com.

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