have different experiences in the Virgin Islands…and that’s where we derive great economic benefit as a government and a community,” which was why, he said, his administration was focused on securing new developments. In the cruise sector, the governor wanted to see passengers extend their time on shore, and convert one-day excursions to longer forays around the Territory. Such extensions, he added, would benefit the community economically. Lamenting that no new hotel has been built for decades, he pledged his personal attention to the streamlining of official procedures so hotel developers could get new hotels operational quickly. Priority tourism goals, according to the governor, include the completion of the Long Bay Landing cruise pier project on St. Thomas, finishing the waterfront apron, revitalizing the Main Street area, adding new attractions and renovating the Territory’s two airports. On St. Croix, in addition to breaking ground on a new hotel, he was looking forward to completing harbor dredging so smaller cruise ships can berth in Christiansted. Attracting more calls into Frederiksted was also critical.
standard of service provided to visitors by equipping locals working in the hospitality industry with the education and desire to exceed guest expectations, while serving as another example of the destination’s focus on investing in its human resources. “As our country moves forward with the sustainable redevelopment of our tourism industry, the enhancement of our human resources is essential,” said Minister of TEATT Hon. Stuart Johnson following the start of the workshops. With more than 440 participants, the training focused not only on the wants and needs of diverse cruise guests that continually move full steam ahead, but also—as Johnson pointed out—help ensure “our people here in St. Maarten are the first and best candidates for the jobs that will become available.” Also included in the tailored training program was a segment on the history and culture of Saint Martin presented by St. Maarten Service Academy Founder Josianne Fleming Artsen to provide general information about the Saint Martin product that every resident should be able to communicate. For more information about the destination, visit PortStMaarten. com or @PortStMaarten on Facebook.
SINT MAARTEN INVESTS IN HUMAN RESOURCES, STANDARD OF SERVICE Sint Maarten’s ‘frontline’ was recently armed with weapons of mass satisfaction through a tailored Frontline Training Program by Aquila’s Center for Cruise Excellence to elevate the destination’s
BVI: #1 FOR 3RD YEAR For the third consecutive year, the British Virgin Islands has ranked number 1 for Best Places to Visit in the Caribbean by US News & World Report of the Best Vacation Destinations. With 60 islands and cays, guests are guaranteed endless possibilities of adventure and tranquility through the destination’s untouched landscapes, either on land or at sea.
In fact, BVI was also voted 2019’s “Best Caribbean Adventure Destination” by Caribbean Journal, because of its wide range of activities for guests of all ages: from snorkeling for kids to wreck-diving, snuba and kiteboarding for adults, as well as numerous hiking trails and other watersport activities. Discover the underworld, beneath the surface without getting wet in YOLO Adventures BVI’s 100% see-through kayaks. (Transfers to and from Cyril B. Romney Tortola Pier Park can be arranged.) For more information, visit BVITourism.com.
DOMINICAN REPUBLIC TOURISM SHOWS STRENGTH Dominican Republic welcomed 3.57 million guests between this January and June—4 percent more than the same period in 2018, with notable increases in arrivals from North America (7.1%) and Central America and the Caribbean (5.6%)—according to a July report by the Central Bank of the Dominican Republic. The increases should come as no surprise, as the result of a joint work of the public and private sector has allowed a growth of more than 40 million visitors in the last seven years, including the cruise industry and its great development recently. Things should only get stronger, as 65 hotel projects have been approved through 2019, and government and tourism leaders have focused on developing and promoting regions beyond Punta Cana – such as an ambitious renovation project for Santo Domingo and a plan to open the city’s Malecon with a bike path and recreation areas Additionally, the Ministry of Tourism – MITUR – in a joint initiative with the port of Santo Domingo (Sans Soucí) hosted two FCCA Customer Service and THIRD QUARTER 2019 | TRAVEL & CRUISE 57