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The Nature Foundation Receives the First Donation from St. Maarten Vegans.

nfreceivesdonationfromsxmvegans18102017COLE BAY:--- The Nature Foundation St. Maarten received the first week profit of the initiative ‘Feel Good Lunches’ from the Chefs of St Maarten Vegans on Monday. In their first week, the initiative the group delivered already 122 lunches to the needy and raised US$675 and NAF 66.

The chefs of St. Maarten vegans are donating their time to cook healthy meals on St Maarten. For every meal you buy they are donating a meal to someone in need of food. All profits raised from the purchases will be donated to St Maarten foundations; the Nature Foundation was chosen for the first week.

“We were very surprised to be the first foundation to receive this great donation; we also love to eat their tasty vegan lunches and will continue doing so. The donation will be used to start rebuilding our coral nursery, which is very much needed, as corals on the reef have been damaged and destroyed by direct and indirect impacts of the massive hurricane” stated Melanie Meijer Zu Schlochtern, Nature Foundation Projects Manager. Nature Foundations its corals nursery is totally destroyed by Irma, Topper’s Restaurant has generously opened a Go Fund Me page in order to help rebuild the Coral Nursery; www.gofundme.com/stmaartennaturefoundation.

Nature Foundation Press Release


Baby Wellness Clinic and School Program Hours Announced.

GREAT BAY (DCOMM) – The Baby Wellness Clinic of Section Youth Health Care and School Program that falls under the Ministry of Public Health, Social Development and Labor, as of Wednesday, 18 October will be open to the public as follows until further notice: Monday thru Friday 8:30 am - 12:30 pm (Baby Wellness Clinic); Tuesday and Wednesday 2:00 pm - 4:00pm (School Program).

The aforementioned services are being provided from the Vineyard Office Park, W.G. Buncamper Road #33, Philipsburg.

For questions or appointments please call Tel 542-3003. Walks-ins will be accepted for the month of October.

As per November 1st 2017 appointments will resume.

A Diwali Message from St. Maarten Guyanese Association.

diwaliinguyana201617102017PHILIPSBURG:--- The St. Maarten Guyanese Association (SMGA) would like to wish all Hindus a Happy Diwali, especially those in the Diaspora who are spending this festival of lights away from our beautiful 'Land of Many Waters'.

This year, especially after the devastation wreaked by Hurricane Irma just over a month ago, this observance should more poignant as we stop to reflect and be thankful for life and the fact that good will always overcome evil.

As an association, we call on our Hindu brothers and sisters to celebrate this day as you would have done before to signify the victory of light over darkness, knowledge over ignorance, good over evil, and hope over despair.

Let us light those diyas and welcome this magical time as there is no better time than now to celebrate and embrace love, joy, and everything else that is good.

May those earthen lamps brighten your lives and make St. Maarten a better and stronger island. May your life be filled with infinite joy, wealth, and health. Happy Diwali to you!

SMGA Press Release

Mérida, Mexico Targets $7 Million Boost by Hosting the FCCA Cruise Conference & Trade Show.

PEMBROKE PINES, FL:--- For more than 20 years, destinations have increased their cruise tourism benefits by hosting the annual FCCA Cruise Conference & Trade Show, the largest cruise conference and trade show in the Caribbean and Latin America. From triple-digit growth in passenger and vessel arrivals to the development of new piers and cruise destinations, event hosts have directly benefited from spotlighting their products, experiences and infrastructure to 1,000 stakeholders and the industry's most influential decision makers-over 100 executives, presidents and CEOs from FCCA's Member Lines. Mérida, Mexico will target these benefits by hosting the event from October 23-27.

"I believe one of the cruise industry's greatest assets is the economic contribution it brings to the destinations," said Michele Paige, president of the FCCA. "The FCCA Cruise Conference & Trade Show was born to help all involved maximize that economic boom, which is more important than ever as the destinations rebound from devastating hurricanes and earthquakes, and I look forward to helping all attendees tap into this potential, while also experiencing Mérida's culture, experiences and ability to organize an event of this magnitude."

Mérida knows the significance of hosting the FCCA Cruise Conference & Trade Show because of watching the results in Cozumel, which hosted the event twice. After first hosting it in 2007, Cozumel experienced a more than 21 percent jump in passenger arrivals between 2006 and 2008. And riding the wave after recently hosting it in 2015, Cozumel looks poised to welcome a world's-leading 3.82 million FCCA Member Line passengers in 2018, catapulting from 2.65 million in 2013-a 44 percent increase, and 88 percent more than 2006.

As Mérida recognizes, these passenger numbers extend far beyond the cruise pier; they directly benefit the economy, with Progreso receiving $23.9 million, in addition to 609 jobs paying $3.6 million in wages, through cruise tourism's direct economic impacts, per the the Business Research & Economic Advisors (BREA) 2015 study,
Economic Contribution of Cruise Tourism to the Destination Economies.

These numbers represent direct benefits for local citizens, with $16.8 million in passenger spending and $1.8 million in crew spending going towards the purchases of goods and services, including food and beverage at restaurants and bars, shore excursions, ground transportation and retail purchases. And the $5.4 million in cruise line expenditures went to taxes and fees, port costs and purchases of local products and services. Plus, cruise tourism brings indirect contributions like supplies purchased by tour operators, restaurants and port authorities, as well as spending from cruise passengers who return as stay-over guests.

By these numbers, a 20 percent passenger volume increase means a large economic boost for Mérida and the state of Yucatán. Progreso expects more than 400,000 FCCA Member Line passengers this year through 132 calls, so besides bringing an additional 80,000 passengers and 26 calls, that 20 percent surge would provide approximately an extra $6.62 million to the economy through an additional $4.63 million in passenger spending, $493,000 in crew spending and $1.49 million in cruise line spending. Plus, the destination would see commensurate increases in its employment wages and indirect contributions.

Even a single call from a mid-sized ship (130,000 GRT with 3,000 passengers and 1,250 crew) would carry a large economic wake, generating roughly $285,080-$173,640 in passenger spending, $55,440 in crew spending and about $56,000 in cruise line expenditures.

Considering the potential economic boom, it becomes easy to understand why Mérida and the state of Yucatan decided to invest in its economy and cruise tourism by hosting the FCCA Cruise Conference & Trade Show.

For more information and registration, please visit www.regonline.com/FCCAMerida. To inquire about a Trade Show booth, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

FCCA Press Release

STB, marketing firm conduct tourism recovery strategic planning sessions.

rbrisonwithmmgyreps17102017PHILIPSBURG:--- Head of the St. Maarten Tourist Bureau (STB) Rolando Brison is currently taking part in several strategic meetings with St. Maarten’s North American marketing firm and other stakeholders to outline and fine-tune the island’s short, mid, and long-term plans for tourism recovery in the aftermath of hurricane Irma.
The STB and St. Maarten’s North American marketing firm MMGY Global has identified a number of activities that will be initiated in collaboration with stakeholders on St. Maarten and abroad. To kick-off the strategic sessions on Tuesday in New York, Brison and MMGY representatives hosted a conference call with the St. Maarten Hospitality and Trade Association (SHTA) to discuss the short-to-long-term plans, with SHTA offering its opinions and recommendations for immediate and future actions.
Among the issues discussed:

  • Constant Public Relations should continue to counter the overly negative news that may arise about the destination since the storm.
  • Continued B2B (Business to Business) approach to ensure that key stakeholders are informed and relay accurate information about the status of the island. Stakeholders should be in a position to assist STB in countering misinformation.
  • Support of the marine sector representatives who will be at the Fort Lauderdale and Antigua Boat Shows.
  • Drive awareness of the hotels that are back online.
  • Continue discussions for the resumption of service of major airlines
  • Promote the fact that the two main festivals, St. Maarten Carnival and Heineken Regatta will be held in 2018.
  • Relaunch (in 6 to 9 months) the Trip Advisor, Expedia and other campaigns in order to drive business for the summer
  • Reshape (in the longer term) the image of St. Maarten to change/adapt the seasonability factor once and for all.

Brison also explained that SHTA and STB are hoping to have just under 50 percent of hotel room inventory during the next 6 to 9 months. He added strategic sessions are also planned with one of North America’s biggest tour operators, Apple Leisure Group, on Wednesday. Additionally, sessions will be held with USA Today and other major publications with emphasis on not just destination promotion, “but effectively changing any misinformation about the island that might be out there and at least letting people know of the progress of the destination in terms of recovery.”
“We are also meeting with major airlines, including American, Delta and JetBlue, to discuss when these airlines will resume regular service and what it will take for that to happen. Now more than ever it will take all stakeholders, together, to get us back on track as a tourism destination. We know what our potential is, we know our respective sectors. Now we should ensure a cohesive effort to help St. Maarten recover,” Brison said.
Brison and Minister of Tourism Mellissa Arrindell-Doncher is also scheduled to attend key upcoming tradeshows such as the Florida Caribbean Cruise Association (FCCA) Cruise Conference and others. “Our presence at these shows, and our interactions with industry executives at this stage of our recovery cannot be overstated and is of the utmost importance,” Brison said.
MMGY Global, Inc. is an integrated travel marketing company. It offers industry and brand research to identify the habits and preferences of travelers; develops creative solutions tailored to various marketing channels; deploys integrated plans across various marketing disciplines to target and convert travelers throughout the entire travel experience; and provides outcome measurement tools.

Press Release from Ministry of TEATT


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