St. Maarten: Tourism and Cruise Arrivals Up

Travel to St. Maarten during the first half of 2012 has been on an upswing as compared to 2011, according to the island’s Board of Tourism. Visitor and air arrivals have both increased 8.5 percent, creating a 56.6 percent growth in hotel occupancy during that time.

St. Maarten also saw a 9 percent increase in cruise passengers during the first half of 2012 compared to 2011.

The Board of Tourism also announced that as of Dec. 15, 2012 Delta Air Lines will be launching weekly direct service to the island from New York’s JFK to Princess Juliana Airport. The air service will occur every Saturday with a departing 9:05 am flight from New York which arrives in St. Maarten at 2:15 pm with returning flights every Saturday leaving St. Maarten at 3:15 pm arriving into New York at 6:05 pm.

A number of resort enhancements are underway, with new products and packages being offered, including the Sonesta Maho Beach Resort & Casino undergoing a $3 million refurbishment to conclude in November 2013, resulting in a makeover as it becomes a true all-inclusive resort, joining on-island sister property, the Sonesta Great Bay Beach Resort & Casino.

The Westin St. Maarten is promoting long weekend stays with its “four night group spectacular package” from April through October 2013.

Auqamania Adventures has opened at Divi Little Bay Beach Resort, with parasailing, waive-runner rentals, deep sea fishing excursions, scuba and snorkeling trips, sunset sail and dinner cruises, day trips to neighboring islands and more.

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