PHILIPSBURG, St. Maarten (Jan. 6, 2010) – In an effort to raise the country's profile among international wholesale and tour operator buyers as well as media companies, the St. Maarten Tourist Bureau (www.VacationStMaarten.com) is sponsoring the Caribbean Hotel & Tourism Association's (CHTA) annual Caribbean Marketplace, taking place Jan. 10-12, 2010 at the Puerto Rico Convention Center in San Juan.
Commissioner Frans Richardson, Commissioner of Economic Affairs and Tourism, Sports, Government Information Services and Aviation Affairs, will be conducting a press conference at Marketplace to inform the international press about new developments on island as well as new marketing initiatives to promote the destination.
"There is a lot happening in St. Maarten with new attractions, new and refurbished hotels and resorts, new restaurants, new nightclubs and a new marketing focus on the variety of experiences that vacationers enjoy in our diverse destination," expressed Commissioner Richardson, adding: "I look forward to exploring these new developments with the International press at Marketplace."
"CHTA acknowledges and greatly appreciates St. Maarten for its commitment to the Caribbean hospitality industry," said Enrique De Marchena Kaluche, president of CHTA.
Staged by CHTA, along with the Puerto Rico Convention Bureau, Puerto Rico Hotel and Tourism Association, Puerto Rico Tourism Company, MasterCard and Virgin Holidays, Caribbean Marketplace 2010 will welcome more than 1,000 delegates.
This annual event gives attendees an opportunity to meet face-to-face with a range of suppliers from the region, representing hotel and all-inclusive chains, boutique inns, and meeting and incentive products from many Caribbean destinations. Participants spend two days of pre-scheduled business appointments discussing existing contracts, developing packages, and contracting for future business.
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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