St. Maarten has appointed Roger Lawrence as its new Minister of Tourism, Economic Affairs, Transport & Telecommunication (TEATT).
Previously, Lawrence served as the Interim Chief Executive Officer of Port St. Maarten, and will now direct the Ministry’s focus on economic stimulation and revitalization of the island’s tourism product, according to St. Maarten News.
Regarding new innovations for St. Maarten’s tourism sector, Lawrence stated: “We need to create stable instruments of cooperation to develop and promote our tourism sector…The engagement with other sectors like Agri-tourism will stimulate creative environments, build synergies, and develop opportunities and collaborations to enhance our overall tourism product.”
“If we want to innovate, joint collaborations within sectors need to take place, and government can contribute,” Lawrence continued.
“Entrepreneurs both local and abroad must be facilitated in the process of starting their business. In most countries, a business license can be obtained within days. It is one of my highest priorities at team TEATT, to fast-track this process.”
St. Maarten is a Dutch constituent country, sharing the Caribbean island with St. Martin, part of the French Republic.
St. Maarten recorded around 2 million tourist arrivals in 2019, and is a major Caribbean cruise destination with 1,597,101 cruise passengers arriving on nearly 500 cruise ships in 2018 in the Port of St. Maarten, located at the Dutch side’s capital city of Philipsburg.
The nation is currently accepting fully vaccinated international travellers with the approved vaccines: Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca, and Johnson & Johnson/Janssen. To travel, tourists must apply for a travel authorization using St. Maarten’s Electronic Health Authorization System, as well as having mandatory COVID-19 insurance. St. Maarten notes that travellers will be subjected to health protocols such as masking and potential COVID-19 tests at their own expense. For a full list of the nation’s travel requirements, click here.
St. Maarten recently invited travel agents to the nation as part of “travel agent months,” where those eligible can enjoy special rates at accommodations, restaurants, retail stores, and experiences around the island.