PHILIPSBURG, St. Maarten (October 2009) – Frans George Richardson has been appointed as Commissioner of Tourism & Economic Affairs, Aviation and Sports for St. Maarten. Prior to this position, Richardson served for three years as a Senator representing St. Maarten in the Netherlands Antilles Parliament. “I am honored to be appointed Commissioner and am eager to work with our partners in the private sector to usher in a new day for St. Maarten’s tourism industry and raise awareness of our island in key markets across Europe and the Americas,” said Frans Richardson, Commissioner of Tourism & Economic Affairs, Aviation and Sports for St. Maarten.
“Tourism is St. Maarten’s most important industry and the pillar of our economy,” noted Richardson, “but it’s also what we do best with 37 immaculate beaches and the most restaurants found on any Caribbean island.”
“Despite the challenges of our current economic climate,” Richardson said, “I am extremely excited to take the helm and steer our tourism development in a positive direction by incorporating our unique cultural elements into the tropical appeal that has made St. Maarten a longtime favorite among travelers.” He expressed optimism for a positive turnaround as the country is strategically positioned with convenient airlift from most major U.S. markets.
“Airlift will continue to be a major focus for our government so that we are well positioned to reap the benefits of a massive influx of tourism as soon as the global economy begins to recover,” he added.
Richardson began his political pursuits in 2003 when he was elected to the Island Council in the St. Maarten Government. Prior to his involvement in the political arena, he served as airport operations duty manager at St. Maarten’s Princess Juliana International Airport.
Born and raised on St. Maarten, Richardson has remained a loyal native of the island where he went to school and developed his career. Considered by many as a trendsetter among St. Maarten’s young entrepreneurs, Richardson is a renowned businessman and elected public official, and is driven to excel in all initiatives. A well-rounded individual, Richardson has an extensive history of successful leadership in various capacities, including the car rental industry, cinema (he established the first multi-screen movie theatre in St. Maarten), real estate and construction.
Richardson is a member of the Frans Richardson Educational Foundation, the Soualiga Son Foundation, as well as various sporting organizations throughout the island. Additionally, he is a Member of the Permanent Committee on Constitutional Affairs (PCCA) for St. Maarten.
St. Maarten is truly a unique island in several ways. It is the smallest island in the world to be shared by two nations, the Netherlands and France, creating a European-influenced vibe with a Caribbean flair. St. Maarten is also the culinary capital of the Caribbean with an eclectic array of elegantly-perfected culinary fusion that keeps “food lovers” returning each year. And with more than 300 restaurants, the island has something for everyone.
Located at the northern end of the Lesser Antilles, the island has 37 breathtaking beaches and is home to many historical and family-oriented attractions including the vastly abundant treasure of rare animal and plant species at the St. Maarten Zoological and Botanical Garden. The historically-pivotal Fort Amsterdam, the St. Maarten Museum and the picturesque and symbolic Mount Concordia, where a treaty and harmonious peace was forged between the island’s two cultures more then 350 years ago, provide other unique attractions.
The Dutch capital of Philipsburg offers duty-free shopping and a bustling city atmosphere in the heart of the Caribbean, while nightlife activities provide endless entertainment at the island’s 14 casinos and numerous nightclubs. For water enthusiasts scuba diving and snorkeling facilities are located throughout the island, which boasts a wide array of marine biodiversity and unique underwater dive sites such as the H.M.S. Proselyte, a notable British frigate which sank in St. Maarten’s waters in 1801.
Accommodations are varied with many designed to exceed the expectations of even the most discerning traveler and include elegant private villas, family oriented resorts, quaint cottages and luxury spa resorts. Air service is available to Princess Juliana International Airport in St. Maarten from a number of U.S. and Canadian cities as well as Europe, South America and the Caribbean.
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