SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) – The Sint Maarten Tourism Bureau (STB), kicked-off in early November a number of activities marking Caribbean Tourism Month (CTM) 2021 under the theme, ‘Caribbean Comeback.’

STB is celebrating the entire month of November with several focused Tourism Educational Programs, Activities and Documentaries. Minister of Tourism & Economic Affairs Hon. Roger Lawrence said that tourism is our main economic pillar and contributes to 85 per cent of our Gross Domestic Product (GDP). It is vitally important that our school system incorporates tourism into the curriculum, from an awareness standpoint to stimulate the minds of the next generation of leaders in the country. Lawrence added that the STB educational awareness activities during CTM is a start allowing preparation for a change in the primary school system to accommodate a tourism-oriented curriculum. Representatives from STB Claudia Arrindell and William Bell joined by hospitality professionals conducted tourism awareness presentations for both elementary and secondary schools throughout the national educational system for the entire month of November.

STB started the tourism awareness presentation at the Asha Stevens Christian Hillside School to the group 8 A and B classes, where Nalia Muriel, Director of St. Maarten Nectar was the presenter for the day. Followed by Anastacio Baker, Managing Director of Baker Suites who presented at St. Dominic High and Carlos Illis, Airport Operations Coordinator, who presented at the Oranje School and MAC High. Overall, the presentations were well received by both pupils and teachers. “The creation of awareness about tourism, culinary and hospitality bearing in mind the importance of the tourism industry and its impact, benefits and further strengthens the destination and the overall visitor experience. “An informed populace including primary and high school students, about the importance of the tourism industry is a plus, and will have a positive influence on the "Magical" experience that the island offers its guests,” Cherinah Franken, STB Section Head, Visitor Relations & Product Development said.

Also, as part of the CTM celebration activities, there were steel pan entertainment every Saturday at the airport for the arriving visitors. STB in collaboration with the Department of Communication (DCOMM) are also busy working on a short series documentary namely ‘Pioneers of Tourism’ that will be released in the coming weeks to profile national pioneers in tourism. The objective of the documentary is to highlight the roles that persons in the community played and who contributed immensely to the tourism and hospitality industry on the island.

The regional tourism development agency the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) joins its member countries, allied and affiliate members and Caribbean tourism interests in celebrating CTM in November, reaffirming our purpose of Leading Sustainable Tourism – One Sea, One Voice, One Caribbean.

Min TEATT at Christian Hillside School