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St. Maarten holding Caribbean's first ever Aviation Photography Competition March 17-23, 2013

Winner To Receive US$2,500 Cash Prize

MEDIA CONTACTS: KTCpr
Telephone: (516) 594-4100
Tricia Rapp / T.Rapp@KTCpr.com
Nicole Kearney / N.Hellmers@KTCpr.com
PRESS RELEASE #241


PHILIPSBURG, St. Maarten (Feb. 12, 2013) - Professional and amateur photographers can capture their dreams with the upcoming St. Maarten Aviation Photography Competition taking place March 17 - 23, 2013 at the Sonesta Maho Beach Resort and Caravanserai Beach Resort, both located in Maho Bay. Photographs must depict an aviation-related action, with an aircraft visible amid a St. Maarten backdrop. The photographer of the winning image will receive a US$2,500 cash prize.

This comes on the heels of St. Maarten's airport being just named the most stunning airport approach in the world by PrivateFly.com. The airport is located on the scenic shores of Maho Beach, offering passengers on incoming flights breathtaking views of turquoise waters and white sand beaches. Spectators looking to get a unique view of low-flying incoming planes frequent Maho Beach daily. This one-of-a-kind setting lures tourists and photographers from around the world to the island to capture exclusive shots of arriving planes.

In addition to residents of St. Maarten, participants from the French Antilles, Puerto Rico, Trinidad, Brazil, Belgium, Canada, and the U.S. are expected to take part in this competition, organized by Robert Cijntje, the founder of Xpress-Digital and one of the top 15 most viewed photographers on JetPhotos.net, the largest aviation website in the world. The competition will be the first of its kind in St. Maarten and the Caribbean region.

"We're excited to be hosting the first competition of this nature in the Caribbean region and look forward to seeing all of the contest's submissions, which are sure to capture the unique beauty St. Maarten offers its residents and guests every day," said the Honorable Romeo F. Pantophlet, Minister of Tourism, Economic Affairs, Transport and Telecommunications. "The competition will increase awareness of the rare views that the airport and surrounding areas boast and will likely increase aircraft spotters and photographers to the destination and turn them into repeat visitors," he added.

"The St. Maarten Aviation Photography Competition is a unique event that comes during a great period for the Princess Juliana International Airport, SXM, as we celebrate our 70th anniversary this year," said Regina Labega, Managing Director of Princess Juliana International Airport Operating Company, N.V. (PJIAE).

"The fact that the photographs must depict an aviation-related action in St. Maarten makes this a very interesting competition. We believe it will yield positive results for the destination, not only in the sense of further promoting the new branding of the airport, but also in drawing attention to the beauty of the island through the creative eyes of photographers," she added.

In addition to the winner's cash prize, judges will select six photos from all submitted to be exposed in the arrival hall at the Princess Juliana International Airport (SXM) in St. Maarten, with the names of each photographer displayed.

Registration fees can be paid to the organization during the morning briefing at the Sunset Beach Bar on March 18, 2013 at 8:00 am or anytime before Friday, March 22, 2013. All fees received will be donated to the Breast Cancer Awareness Program in St. Maarten, during the Prize Giving ceremony on Saturday March 23, 2013.

Photograph submissions must be emailed to toppix2013@xpress-digital.com on or before March 22. Emails must contain the full name and address of the photographer. Photos should be in JPG format, be a minimum of 1200x800 pix, and must contain the date and time. A maximum of three entries per participant is allowed. The photographer of the winning image must be present at the prize giving ceremony on March 23 to receive their cash prize. The competition is also open to residents of St. Maarten.

For more information on the St. Maarten Aviation Photography Competition, email toppix2013@xpress-digital.com.

For additional information on St. Maarten, visit the official site of the St. Maarten Tourist Bureau at www.VacationStMaarten.com.

St. Maarten

St. Maarten is the smallest island in the world to be shared by two nations, Kingdom of the Netherlands and France, creating a European-influenced vibe with a Caribbean flair. As "the culinary capital of the Caribbean," St. Maarten offers an eclectic array of cuisine fusion for food lovers with more than 365 restaurants, one for each day of the year to satisfy the tastes of every palate and pocketbook.

Located at the northern end of the Lesser Antilles, the island's 37 square miles has 37 breathtaking beaches and is home to many historical and family-oriented attractions. During the day, watersport enthusiasts can take full advantage of the island's scuba diving and snorkeling facilities. The capital of Philipsburg offers duty-free shopping with a bustling city atmosphere, while 14 casinos and numerous nightclubs provide endless entertainment.

Accommodations are varied and include elegant private villas, family oriented resorts, quaint cottages and luxury spa resorts. Air service is available to Princess Juliana International Airport from numerous U.S. and Canadian cities as well as from Europe, South America and the Caribbean.

Find St. Maarten on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/VacationStMaarten and follow us on Twitter at http://twitter.com/StMaartenTravel.

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