NEW YORK, NY – St. Maarten is 2020’s Most Innovative Destination in the Caribbean according to Caribbean Journal’s annual Caribbean Travel Awards. The island’s “impressive strategy” has ushered in a “full-fledged tourism renaissance,” according to the publication. The progress on the island has been hard to ignore with “a miraculous increase in tourist arrivals” throughout 2019. The Caribbean Journal staff commend St. Maarten for its speedy airport recovery, rebound in accommodations, and the re-establishment of a thriving roster of restaurants and bars.
With a large number of hotel, bar, and restaurant openings in 2019, as well as the island’s 37 remarkable beaches, finding the key to St. Maarten’s success is almost easier than making friends on The Friendly Island. Several properties have made big waves this year, including the Sonesta Ocean Point Resort, and the Sonesta Maho Beach Resort, Casino and Spa. And exciting openings are scheduled for 2020 including the much-anticipated Morgan Resort Spa in Simpson Bay and Secrets St. Martin Resort Spa in French St. Martin.
Arrivals at the island’s famed Princess Juliana International Airport were up 103% from January to October 2019 compared to the same period in 2018.
“We are delighted to obtain this award from Caribbean Journal,” said St. Maarten’s Minister of Tourism, Economic Affairs, Traffic Telecommunication, the Honorable Mellissa Arrindell-Doncher. “As we strive to become a leading Caribbean destination, offering unforgettable experiences to our visitors, we are grateful for this recognition and are motivated to work even harder to attain our goals and look forward to welcoming more visitors to our Friendly Island.”
For her part, St. Maarten’s Director of Tourism, May-Ling Chun said: “This award is a testament to all the hard word that everyone in the travel industry has been putting into ensuring that our tourism sector recovers quickly. We’re thrilled to see that visitors are returning to the island in greater numbers.”
St. Maarten is the smallest island in the world to be shared by two nations and two Caribbean Journal 2020 Travel Awards. Just north – on the French side of Saint Martin – the Grand Case Beach Club was also recognized with the Caribbean Hotelier of the Year award for the impressive effort of Stephen Case in running a three-star hotel with five-star standards.
St. Maarten is the smallest island in the world to be shared by two nations – Kingdom of the Netherlands and France – creating a destination with European charm and Caribbean flair. Located at the northern end of the Lesser Antilles, the island’s 37 square miles has 37 breathtaking beaches and is home to many historical and family-oriented attractions. Direct air service is available to Princess Juliana International Airport from major U.S. and Canadian cities.