PHILIPSBURG, St. Maarten (May 27, 2010) - The St. Maarten Tourist Bureau is reporting that overall air arrivals to the destination are up 7.9% for the first quarter of 2010 versus the same timeframe in 2009. Visitors from the United States rose 6.4% for the first quarter of 2010 versus 2009. The first quarter of 2010 also saw a boost in hotel occupancy by 5.7%. The average timeshare occupancy during the first three months was 83.3%. Cruise passenger arrivals for the first quarter totaled 542,012, a slight increase from 2009's 541,023.
Between January and March 2010, St. Maarten's total air arrivals reached 160,908, up from 149,065 in 2009. U.S. visitors accounted for 47.5% of the total air arrivals at 76,430.
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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