Port anticipated French-side protest actionsPOSTED: 10/26/15 10:41 AM
GREAT BAY – Port St. Maarten Management took a number of measures to ensure that the approximately 10,000 cruise passengers that were in town on Thursday, enjoyed their stay on the island without any discomfort. With the measures, the port anticipated the demonstration on the French side that included road blocks.
Tours for the French side had to be canceled and cruise passengers spent most of their time in the Philipsburg area. There was also extra entertainment at the cruise port.
Port management said that cruise destinations must be able to adapt very quickly when you have a changing environment in order to safeguard the visitor experience, but also the safety and security of cruise passengers. The cruise passenger visitor experience is very important for a destination as this determines cruise ship itineraries.
The Caribbean is the largest cruise destination in the world that attracts over 20 million cruise passengers annually. Destination Sint Maarten received over two million cruise passengers last year.
Cruise passenger destination experiences are essential and therefore not only Port St. Maarten, but local stakeholders in the industry also have a role to play in working with port authorities to adapt and create an alternative that offers cruise passengers an excellent stay on the island.
The Great Bay Master Plan 2 includes additional land development initiatives which are essential in developing marque tours for the cruise experience foot print. Besides offering new tours, it also contributes to the evenly disbursement of cruise passengers throughout the town of Philipsburg and its environs.
As a mature cruise destination, all stakeholders have a responsibility to make sure that visitor’s health and safety are priority number one, as this assures long-term sustainability of the destination when it comes to stay-over and cruise tourism.
Port St. Maarten based on 50-years of cruise business experience is well aware of the requirements of the cruise sector and takes the necessary proactive approaches and measures where needed in order to maintain the country’s number one position as a mature destination.