St. Maarten Visa regimes relaxed to boost tourism

POSTED: 03/7/13 8:42 PM

St. Maarten – Minister of Tourism Romeo Pantophlet is contemplating relaxing visa regimes for South American nationals following his return from the Routes Americas Conference and the IATA Conference in Colombia.
Pantophlet reported that while in Colombia, he visited several states and a common theme in discussions was for St. Maarten to become more flexible in its visa requirements to attract more tourists from major South American countries.

“They requested that we do some flexibility on the visa requirements for South American countries. We were guaranteed that once there is flexibility with the visas, they would basically flood St. Maarten with upscale tourists,” Pantophlet said.
Specific countries which requested this included Colombia, Brazil, Argentina and Peru.
“They also requested that we take some consideration in extending the operational hours of the Princess Juliana International Airport for flights that will be connecting out of Managuas and will be arriving here after normal closing hours,” he added.
The Minister said that he will be taking the suggestion up with the management of the airport to get information on the specific period for the completion of the runway resurfacing.
“Once we have this information; we will convey it to the parties concerned and have a plan of action put in place. In Colombia, they are looking at starting for this summer.”

The minister also said that he proud to announce that St. Maarten would be hosting the 2014 Florida Cruise and Cargo Association (FCCA) Conference.
“The tourism industry in St. Maarten should benefit greatly from the event,” Pantophlet said.
An organizing committee has already been installed to host the conference.
In the meantime, Pantophlet leaves this weekend for Miami to attend the Seatrade Cruise Conference; the largest in the world.
His delegation will comprise officials from the harbor, tourism stakeholders and civil servants.
Meetings with cruise officials and investors have been planned during the trip.

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