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IMBRACE Promotes Destination St. Maarten During Caribbean Sales Visits.

jacquilouis17042024PHILIPSBURG:--- With the Caribbean region as a prime target to invigorate St. Maarten's year-round tourism market share, the St. Maarten Tourism Bureau (STB), represented by its Caribbean Marketing Agent IMBRACE, embarked on a series of sales calls at the end of March. The focus included select South and Eastern Caribbean islands with initial partnership-building visits to Trinidad, Barbados, and Antigua.

These sales calls incorporated a series of productive meetings and presentations to travel agencies, the media, event promoters, and airlines to explore cross-promotional partnerships strategically forged towards driving increased awareness and appeal of St. Maarten as a key tourism destination. "The goal is to elevate the promotion of our island throughout the wider Caribbean region. We aim to redefine the narrative surrounding St. Maarten, shifting the focus from solely being a connecting hub to showcasing the diverse, multicultural vacation experiences that we have to offer, including entertainment, culture, gastronomy, adventurous excursions, nature, nightlife, outstanding accommodations available, high-quality hospitality services and more. These all form a vital component of the 'Sweet SXM Experience' that we are promoting," shared Jacqueline Louis, CEO IMBRACE.

"We are knocking on doors, breaking down walls, and actively paving the way into the Caribbean region. These efforts are essential to keep the island at the top of mind for inbound tourism," shared Louis. "We were received with a warm welcome among our Caribbean brothers and sisters. Several travel agencies, including Amrals Travel Agencies in Trinidad, Going Places Travel Agencies in Barbados, and many others are among those who have agreed to develop promotional packages that include offers to our dual-nation island paradise."

Additionally, discussions were held to explore affordable rates, direct connections, and cooperative campaigns, particularly for major events such as the SMART conference, St. Maarten Carnival, St. Maarten culinary month and other local festivities.

During radio interviews and other media presentations, the enthusiasm was invigorating as IMBRACE promoted the destination with passion, while launching a Caribbean-wide campaign to enter and get a chance to 'Win an all-inclusive vacation to Sweet St. Maarten!'

"IMBRACE's Caribbean tourism marketing initiatives are focused on building collaborative bridges where there were once competitive barriers. Connecting our shared historical, regional and family bonds will help stimulate increased affinity, awareness and thereby, also grow the tourism appeal of our Sweet St. Maarten," shared Jacqueline Louis.

These efforts will be continuous as IMBRACE remains dedicated to strategically implementing various campaigns as part of the comprehensive Caribbean marketing program.

Local hospitality providers, including hotels, restaurants, car rentals, activity/tour companies and all stakeholders are encouraged to participate in STB's Caribbean marketing efforts by sharing their products and regional promotions for inclusion in the ongoing destination marketing efforts.

Collaborative Conservation in the Dutch Caribbean.

Saba, Dutch Caribbean:--- On April 16th, the Dutch Caribbean Nature Alliance (DCNA) organized a seminar on Saba on the critical role of collaboration in ecosystem restoration for the Dutch Caribbean. Aimed at promoting collaboration to safeguard nature, this seminar brought together key individuals from across the Dutch Caribbean to share existing examples and future goals.
The United Nations has declared this decade ‘the Decade on Ecosystem Restoration’, highlighting the importance of ecosystem restoration and promoting related activities. As the leading network organization regarding nature conservation in the Dutch Caribbean region, the DCNA has emphasized the message of working together for more than 25 years. The necessity of working together also accounts for ecosystem restoration on, for example, coral reefs and mangroves.
The half-day seminar, titled "The Success of Conservation Projects Hinges on Effective Collaboration,” brought together members from each of the six island’s Park Management Organizations, local experts, researchers, governments, the local community, and NGOs from the Dutch Caribbean.
The seminar included presentations on various collaborative projects, including the Coral Reef Early Warning System (CREWS), the RESEMBID Reforestation Project, DIADEMA RAAK II project, Coastal Resilience Needs Assessment (CORENA) Project, Sea and Learn projects, and the DCNA’s and World Wide Fund for Nature – Netherlands (WWF-NL) ‘s Coastal Feasibility Study. Speakers highlighted the need for collaboration between nature-focused and non-nature-focused organizations and between local, regional, and international partners to maximize efforts for nature restoration.
Arno Verhoeven, Stationary Director of the DCNA, remarked: "In a world where ecological boundaries know no borders, the fight to conserve local biodiversity cannot be shouldered by individuals or a single island alone. It is a collective effort that requires collaboration from diverse stakeholders, including local communities, governments, and international organizations. This seminar aims not just to discuss but to catalyze action, reinforcing our commitment to this cause."
The DCNA extends sincere thanks to all who contributed to the success of the seminar. Your dedication and expertise are invaluable in advancing conservation efforts. The DCNA eagerly anticipates continued collaboration in our shared pursuit of a sustainable future.

Minister of Culture drs. Rodolphe Samuel encourages the community of Sint Maarten to remain vigilant against attacks on Culture, Heritage and Monuments.

samuel17042024PHILIPSBURG:--- In recent months and in the past year, there have been numerous attacks on the heritage of Sint Maarten culture, our intangible and tangible culture. Monuments and heritage sites are being tampered with or targeted for destruction without the proper legal procedures.

On behalf of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Youth of Sport (MECYS), I, Drs. Rodolphe Samuel, express my gratitude to all those who have called about the situation at the old Simpson Bay Bridge and other heritage sites. I beseech the public to remain vigilant about our monuments.

Just recently and quite unfortunately, the Ministry has been called upon to address numerous ongoing situations such as the illegal renovation works taking place at L ’Escargot Restaurant property, the demolition of a historical ruin in Cole Bay, dumping of debris on the old Simpson Bay Bridge and the destruction of historical boulders at the former Emilio Wilson Plantation property in Cul de Sac.

“These are people who have been received with open arms yet fail to respect the very island that offers them a safe haven and sustenance. Our very own Sint Maarten people have been irresponsible with regard to our cultural traditions and monuments.

“We have to bring value to our heritage and culture, and I hereby remind and request the public to continue to be vigilant and alert. If you see something, do call the Ministry of Education Culture Youth and Sport immediately 520-5340.

“I am urging all residents, visitors, and citizens who have a love for Sint Maarten to join the Ministry of Education, Culture, Youth and Sport in its mission to safeguard the tangible and intangible Cultural Heritage of the people of Sint Maarten. We cannot do this without you; although our resources may be limited, our will is strong! Each of us must do our part in preserving what is ours for the future generations to come,” says Minster of ECYS drs. Rodolphe Samuel.

CULTURE, TRADITONS, and HERITAGE is everyone’s business. Yours, Mines, Everyone!
It is everyone’s responsibility to ensure that our history is preserved for the next generation.
We need our partners. We need alliances in the community to be extra vigilant with our trees, with our stonewalls, with our buildings, our wells, our traditions.
We are thankful to all of those who have been calling the Department of Culture and ministry to report on the destructions of relevant historical sites.
We ask for your continued support to be vigilant to pay attention.
There is a monument ordinance, and processes and procedures are in place.
There are laws in place, fines, and jail time for individuals and or companies and organizations that violate our cultural patrimony.

The following is the process when applying for a monument permit.
Requests for obtaining a Monument Permit in accordance with the National Monument Ordinance (Monumenten Landsverordening, AB 2013, GT no. 336)
It is prohibited to touch a registered monument without a license from the Minister of Education, Culture, Youth and Sport, or violate any of the conditions laid down in such a license in whole or in part if it involves:
1) breaking down or moving.
2) destroying or damaging.
3) alteration in any fashion.
4) restoration, usage, or allowed usage in a manner whereby the registered monument is defaced or put at risk.
A permit, as referred to above, must be requested in writing and addressed to the Minister of Education, Culture, Youth, and Sport (Soualiga Blvd., Philipsburg, Sint Maarten). The Minister decides on the request within six months after receipt of the written submission. If a decision is not taken within six months and the applicant is not notified or informed of such, the request shall be deemed to have been granted.
Even if a historical site or artifact is uncovered, you are legally required to report this to the Ministry of Education, Culture, Youth and Sport.

To determine whether a project requires a monument permit, the applicant can submit the attached monument permit request form. For more detailed information containing general conditions, please refer to the National Ordinance containing general conditions on Monuments by the Government of Sint Maarten, which can be found at
As minister responsible for monuments, I am hereby reminding the public of the monument ordinance and the requirement of the license prior to works being done on a monument.
The further destruction of our heritage will not be tolerated, and anyone seen violating the articles of the monument ordinance will face legal consequences.
Once again, we thank you for your continued support. If you're going to do any excavations and you come across something in question. Contact the department of culture or VROMI inspection. They in turn will call the relevant experts.

“Only together we can save our cultural heritage!”


20 Stevedores of SSS receive Certification after Completing the ‘Total Port Worker’ Training Program.

ssscertified16042024POINT BLANCHE:--- 20 stevedores working for St. Maarten Shipping & Stevedoring NV (SSS) completed six days of training carried out by the Institute for Industrial Solutions (IIS) led by Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Trainer Osric Forrest and Technical Expert/Assessor Radcliffe Spence.
Lilian Hohl, CMA CGM's local area representative, presented the certificates in the presence of George Pilgrim, President of St. Maarten Shipping & Stevedoring. CMA CGM is the third-largest shipping company in the world and one of the port’s biggest customers.
Each stevedore has completed training and assessment activities and retained the required knowledge and competencies outlined in The Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) Safety Standard 29 CFR 1910-178 guidelines for General Industry and Stevedoring Foundation Skills Training Standards.
Each stevedore was awarded a certificate of competence in Stevedoring Foundation Skills—Level 1, a certificate of training in Fundamentals of OHS for Maritime Port Operations, and a certificate of training in Lashing and Unlashing Operations.
Businessman George Pilgrim, President of St. Maarten Shipping & Stevedoring NV, said he is very proud of what the seasoned Stevedores have accomplished. Pelgrim initiated the initiative with the Institute for Industrial Solutions for a program that would ‘Create the Total Port Worker.’
The training started on April 5 and concluded on April 10.
“This newly forged relationship between IIS for workforce development solutions and performance management and SSS is designed to improve the company’s performance further and adhere to international standards, maintain high employee morale, and create a long-term formal structure for training, employee development, and talent management along with leadership development in the areas that we provide services in such as maritime transportation, warehousing, and distribution.
“This training and workforce development is part of Intermar Group of Companies' long-term strategic plan to increase investment in human resource care and development, thus creating a sustainable workforce that is part and parcel of our national human resource advancement,” Pilgrim said.
Maritime transportation and allied services play a vital role in ensuring citizen satisfaction, the development of tourism products, and the efficient delivery of service standards across St. Maarten.
One key factor that can significantly impact the success of maritime services is investing in the training and development of employees at all levels. By equipping the country’s port workers with the necessary attitude, skills, and knowledge, businesses can enhance their overall customer experience, meet international standards, realize business continuity, and drive long-term success.
“We have really been trying to improve Port, Maritime, Transportation, Logistics, Warehousing and Distribution service offered across the region,” said Forrest. “Our aim is to provide ongoing training, assessment and certification for the entire industry, the objective is to keep the Caribbean Region operations at International Standard.”

SER Curaçao delivers advice on the introduction of paternity leave.

Willemstad:--- The Social and Economic Council (SER) of Curaçao delivered yesterday a detailed opinion on an initiative bill to introduce a paternity leave scheme. The initiative was proposed by the MAN fraction in the Parliament and aims to introduce a general five-working-day paternity leave scheme for fathers upon the birth of their child.
The consultation request was received in the last quarter of last year. However, the advisory process took longer than anticipated due to a reprioritization of the SER's research and advisory agenda in the final months of 2023. Nevertheless, the council conducted extensive research on the topic, including in-depth analyses of existing literature, country comparative research, and interviews with various stakeholders.
The opinion of the SER, requested by the Chairwoman of the Parliament of Curaçao, plays a vital role in the legislative process and aims to inform the Parliament of the possible socioeconomic effects of implementing the envisioned scheme.
The SER assessed all relevant aspects of the proposed initiative bill, including the legal and financial consequences and socioeconomic impact. In addition, the council made recommendations for communicating the changes to adequately inform both employers and employees about the new regulation.
According to the tripartite advisory body, this move marks an important development in Curaçao's socioeconomic legislation, with potential long-term effects on the labor market and society.


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