Organized tours for tourist to St. Maarten Carnival VillagePOSTED: 04/15/16 8:58 PM
St. Maarten News – For the first time in Carnival’s history, organized tours will take place for both cruise and overnight passengers to enjoy the Carnival Village. There will be daytime tours for lunch in the village from 1 to 3 p.m. and nighttime tours of some of the local events including Soca Rumble, Calypso Finals and One Love Reggae Concert. Some of the tour companies involved are Nexus Tours, Sunwing, Xaro Tours and various taxi drivers. Gift bags and some support for entertainment of the guests were provided by the Port of St. Maarten.
“This is an initiative we have envisioned as part of the long-term marketing plan of Carnival, and it is finally happening,” said Rolando Brison, Marketing Director to SCDF, “While we’ve wanted to do this for a long time, the priority was to ensure the product of Carnival was ready to welcome hundreds of tourists to the village every afternoon on organized tours. Now that we have refined the product and business model, and have the resources in place, we are ready to have organized tours into the Carnival Village with our tourists.
While for many years tourists have visited the village on their own or on the advice of taxi drivers, this is the first time that organized tours will be making a stop at the village and provided guided tours of Carnival to them. The daytime tours will begin with a welcome by an official SCDF member as well as a member of the SCDF marketing team. The visitors will be handed over to one of the Village tour guides who will provide a brief history of Carnival and the Village, including the way the village concept started and its various locations over the years on the island, until ultimately its permanent home was built in 2005.
The harbor has come on board with providing over 2,000 gift bags to the tourists as well as entertainment on some days. Island Revelers troupe will be letting tourist dress in headpieces and back-pieces for pictures, and ILTT will be offering duty free liquor to the sponsors.
It is expected that anywhere between 25 to 400 tourists will be a part of the organized tours each day, depending on the number of cruise ships in port.
The tourists will then be split into groups and visit several of the booth holders who are open for lunch. The booth holders can tell their story of being a booth holder and present them with some of the signature dishes and drink samples offered to the guests. The last half hour of their tour the tourists will be free to roam the Village and have lunch or a drink.
For the night tours, the guests will get to experience some of the key cultural events, including Soca Rumble, Calypso and the One Love Reggae concert. These will also be in the form of guided tours including dinner and a brief look at backstage. Other promoters can also contact Nexus Tours to have their night events a part of the lineup.
“Involving cruise visitors have always been an initiative we wanted to start. Many visitors have told us that they really didn’t know about Carnival they just happen to be in port at the time. With that in mind we started thinking about what steps we can take to not only market to them but involve them. The tours are just the first step. We have a much larger goal in mind that we will be working on moving forward. On behalf of the board of the SCDF I extend our deepest gratitude to the tour operators and the Port of St. Maarten for working with us on this initiative which only benefits the destination and the carnival product,” SCDF Director Mike Granger said.