St Maarten: 565 ships, 1.6 million cruise passengers in 2019
St Maarten is celebrating an increase in cruise tourists for the year 2019.
Last year 565 ships berthed on the island transporting 1.6 million passengers, a 2.2 increase over the previous year.
In a release, the St Maarten Port Authority noted the importance of collaboration among stakeholders to offer new and enhanced experiences to visitors.
“The destination has been maintaining over 1.5 million cruise passengers per annum. Competition within the Caribbean Basin has become more dominant within the past two years, besides the growth in cruise lines developing their own destinations. On top of the aforementioned, we have new emerging destinations in Asia that are growing very quickly. Therefore, it is very important as a destination, that we take a holistic approach in moving forward together in 2020. We need everyone to be part of the success. The cruise sector does not remain dormant. There are constant changes and trends. More than 66 per cent of Generation X and 71 per cent of Millennials have a more positive attitude about cruising compared to two years ago” the statement said.
According to Port officials, the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) has earmarked Generation Z to become the largest consumer generation by the year 2020. The statement further stated that this generation prefers experiences over material items and is seeking out travel.
The authority said it is therefore imperative that stakeholders work together to develop the destination and move cruise tourism further forward.
The CLIA said an estimated 32 million tourists will take a cruise this year.