Port of St. Maarten records 1 million cruise passengers

POSTED: 06/3/14 12:10 AM

St. Maarten – The harbor surpassed one million cruise passengers in mid-May, one month ahead of projections, the Harbour Group of Companies announced in a press release. In previous years this milestone occurred around mid-June.

Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Mark Mingo said yesterday that he is pleased with this news.

“This is a significant sign that our cruise sector is strong and continues to grow. This goes back to the relationships and strategic partnerships that have been developed over the years with the cruise lines. Our growth is embedded in the hospitality of our people and service providers who deal with our cruise passengers on a daily basis, from the taxi driver, to the water taxis, from the tour busses to the car and bike rentals,” Mingo said.

“Everybody who comes in contact with a cruise passenger and crew, and who has left them with a smile, has contributed to our country’s success story as a premiere cruise destination in the Caribbean,” Mingo added

The harbor will celebrate its 50th anniversary this year. On June 3, 1964 the A.C. Wathey Pier was inaugurated. The port has catered to the marine sector in different facets ever since, including the Japanese fishing fleet.

In 1980, the port recorded its first 100,000+ number of cruise passengers (105,000). In 1996 that jumped over half a million to 677,662, and in 2012 the number reached 1,753,215, placing the port fourth in the Caribbean region.

The port was second in passenger and crew spending with $356.2 million according to the Business Research & Economic Advisors (BREA) September 2012 study. The top five destinations have US$1.43 billion in direct expenditures, accounting for 72 per cent of the total cruise tourism expenditures among the 21 destinations.

“The cruise sector is a key strategic economic pillar of the economy, generating a total of 8,123 jobs with a wage income of US$160 million, the press release stated.

The Port will host the 21st annual Florida Caribbean Cruise Association Conference & Trade Show from October 6 to 10.  Approximately 1,000 cruise industry partners, including close to 100 cruise executives, will visit the island for that occasion.

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