TOURISM: 15000 visitors on six cruise ships calling on the island on Wednesday

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Nearly fifteen thousand tourists were passing through the island on Wednesday, November 23, when six cruise ships arrived at the port of Sint Maarten. "The number one cruise destination in the Caribbean is back in business," said Omar Ottley, Minister of Tourism, Economic Affairs, Transport and Telecommunications (TEATT).

“It was a perfect day with six cruise ships back in port which is great. It's something we've worked diligently for, especially since we've just lived two years  and seven difficult months with weak economic activity,” said the minister.

Bookings for cruises to the island jumped 120%. Which is a good indication for this tourist season which should be in full swing.

The six cruise ships, Star Pride, AidaLuna, Grandeur of the Seas, Voyager of the Seas and Carnival Magic, were visible from afar at Port SXM as early as 9 a.m. Thousands of passengers have disembarked expecting to see the island for the first time or return to it since the global Covid-19 pandemic forced ports to close more than two years ago.

On Wednesday, thousands of visitors filled the streets of Philipsburg  aboard quads, many rental cars, all-terrain vehicles and taxis. The tour operators were also able to show some of them the hidden beauty of the island, both on land and at sea. The shopping districts with bars and restaurants were also crowded with travelers happy to return to the Friendly Island. _AF

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