St Maarten tourism officials say they’re “optimistic” about the destination’s start to 2022.
Tourism Minister Roger Lawrence says he is “cautiously optimistic about this year’s visitor arrivals.”
The Dutch Caribbean destination’s tourism arrivals in the first quarter were nearly 210 percent higher than the first quarter of 2021, according to Lawrence.
“The airport passenger arrival numbers for the first quarter are much closer to the numbers of visitors we saw pre-COVID-19,” he said this week.
The St Maarten Ministry of Tourism says the island’s Princess Juliana International Airport is expected to achieve 90 percent of its pre-Covid arrivals this year.
On the cruise side, first-quarter passenger totals were 291,497, while mega yacht numbers have been steadily rising, Lawrence said.
Late last year, St Maarten announced a testing waiver for fully vaccinated passengers.
“The tourism industry is not without competition, regionally and internationally,” Lawrence said. “With more countries following St. Maarten’s lead and relaxing regulations for COVID-19, travellers will have even more options for vacation. We have to continue to take all necessary precautions so that the economic activities we presently enjoy can continue to increase for the benefit of the island.”