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PHILIPSBURG, St. Maarten – World Teacher’s Day (WTD) 2015 which is observed internationally on October 5, will be held under the theme “Empowering teachers, building sustainable societies.”

WTD 2015 is about highlighting the importance of empowering teachers to achieve inclusive and sustainable global development.  This year’s WTD highlights the need to empower all teachers through the provision of decent, safe and healthy working conditions, trust, professional autonomy and academic freedom.

According to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), despite the global recognition of the importance of teachers in changing children’s lives and building sustainable and prosperous societies, they are all too often undervalued and under-empowered, particular in the area of Early Childhood Education.

Worldwide there is a growing shortage of quality teachers and inadequate professional training.  According to the UNESCO Institute of Statistics, estimates that to achieve universal primary education by 2020, countries will need to recruit a total of 12.6 million primary school teachers.

Minister of Education, Culture, Youth and Sports (Ministry CYS) Hon. Rita Bourne-Gumbs, says that it is recognized that teachers are not only a means to implementing education goals; they are also key to sustainability and national capacity in achieving learning and creating societies based on knowledge, values and ethics.

“World Teacher’s Day is a special time to show appreciation to our teachers for their dedicated service to our school-going youth.  Our teachers are the foundation of our society where it concerns the advancement of our children who are the future of this country.  They are the future business leaders and politicians who will chart the way forward for generations to come.

“The role played by teachers is essential to our national development as a nation and society.  As a country we are confronted with challenges and changes where educators have to adapt due to changing times.  As teachers we must stand firm, work together, and help each other grow professionally and support one another so can continue to move our nation forward with confidence in building a sustainable Sint Maarten society.

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank every teacher and educator for their hard work.  Let this day be a reflection upon what has been achieved over the years, and let us support each other as we continue to grow our teaching fraternity from strength to strength as we equip our young pupils and students with the skills for the future.  I wish you all Happy Teacher’s Day!,” Minister of Education Hon. Rita Bourne-Gumbs said on Sunday on the eve of World Teacher’s Day. 

The Incheon Declaration at the World Education Forum in May 2015, clearly recognized the importance of empowerment.  At the forum, 1600 participants from 160 countries committed to ‘ensure that teachers and educators are empowered, adequately recruited, well-trained, professionally qualified, motivated and supported within well-resourced, efficient and effectively governed systems.’

The Oslo Summit, ‘Education for Development,’ held in July 2015, highlighted the need for further investment in teacher education.

PHILIPSBURG, St. MaartenSunday, September 27 marks World Tourism Day (WTD).  Port St. Maarten on behalf of the Board of Supervisory Directors, Management and Staff, wishes everybody working in the hospitality and tourism sector a Happy World Tourism Day.

The theme for WTD 2015 is ‘One billion tourists, one billion opportunities.’

With five consecutive years of growth, tourism has been a major contributor to the economic recovery, creating jobs and opportunities for communities in many parts of the world.

Every time somebody travels, for whatever reason, they are part of a global movement; a movement that has the power to drive inclusive development, create jobs and build sustainable societies we want for our future; a movement that builds mutual understanding and can help us safeguard our shared natural and cultural heritage.

This year highlights the global potential for socio-economic development.  With more than one billion international tourists now traveling the world each year to an international destination, tourism has become a powerful and transformative force that is making a genuine difference in the lives of millions of people.

These billion tourists have made tourism a leading economic sector globally contributing 10 per cent of global Gross Domestic Product (GDP) or US$1.5 trillion annually; six per cent of the world’s total exports; and one in eleven jobs in the world.

Tourism is one of the world’ leading employment sectors, tourism provides important livelihood opportunities, helping to alleviate poverty and drive inclusive development.

Port St. Maarten came in second in a 2012 Florida Caribbean Cruise Association (FCCA) study carried out by the Business Research & Economic Advisors (BREA), about the Economic Contribution of Cruise Tourism to the Destination Economies. 

The average expenditure per passenger in St. Maarten was $185.40, which benefitted numerous industries through purchases of goods that included food and beverage at restaurants and bars, clothing, shore excursions, ground transportation, local crafts and souvenirs, watches and jewelry, perfumes and cosmetics, electronics, entertainment/night clubs/casinos, retail purchases of liquor, and telephone and internet. Total cruise tourism expenditures amounted to over US$356 million for 2011/2012 cruise year.

The same study showed that the average expenditure per crew in St. Maarten was $135.50 on similar products and services. Plus it revealed the direct and indirect employment generated by the cruise industry on the island, totaled 8,123 jobs and US$159.8 million in employee wages.

The aforementioned demonstrates the socio-economic input into the economy of the country making the port a contributor of one-third of the country’s annual GDP.

Earlier this month it was revealed at Seatrade Europe Cruise & River Convention, that Port St. Maarten is ranked number five (5) in the World as a Cruise Transit Port.  In 2014, the country’s national port received 2,001.996 cruise passengers for the first time ever.  2014 also marked 50 years St. Maarten as a cruise destination under the theme “Reinventing Cruise St. Maarten.

“Reinventing Cruise St. Maarten,” is about the port continuing to strategically invest and work with local stakeholders and cruise partners to keep the destination in this leading position.

To successfully maintain and develop port activities, Port St. Maarten has been actively involved in the life of the community where it concerns supporting sustainable development.  The recent inauguration of the Walter Plantz Square is a clear example of the aforementioned and in line with the international principle of shared natural and cultural heritage.

As part of “Reinventing Cruise St. Maarten,” the destination needs to continue to diversify the shopping product mix and experience by offering new tours which also includes the further development and expansion of culture/heritage tourism which is what sets the destination apart from the rest.  This can only be maintained and further pursued by having an aggressive marketing and development strategy.

The development of home-porting requires the support from other stakeholders who are willing and ready to invest in the hotel rooms that are needed to support this expansion of tourism.

In order for St. Maarten to continue to be a premiere tourism destination and a mature cruise port, all sectors in hospitality and tourism have to work together from the cleaner, the guard, the car rental agent, store clear to the manager.  Tourism is interlinked into everything that transpires on St. Maarten and therefore nobody can become complacent.  The development and building of relationships are essential for the future of cruise and stay-over tourism.

Security and safety of visitors to the destination is also a key factor to sustainable development.

Remember, tourism is everybody’s business as it revitalizes history and traditions of the past to set the foundations for the future. Last year the country received over two million cruise visitors, and with that comes opportunities.

Once again, on behalf of the Board of Supervisory Directors, Management and Staff of Port St. Maarten, to all tourism and hospitality workers, the people who, each and every day, wake to work in the sector, playing their part, making their impact, and sharing their story, and to the community of St. Maarten, a Happy World Tourism Day.

PHILIPSBURG, St. Maarten - Citizens of St Maarten, September 27th has been declared World Tourism Day by the United Nations World Tourism organization.

PHILIPSBURG, St. Maarten – Minister of Public Health, Social Development and Labour (Ministry VSA) Hon. Rafael Boasman over the weekend in a statement congratulated all Sint Maarteners on Caribbean Wellness Day (CWD) which was observed across the Region on Saturday, September 12.

PHILIPSBURG, St. Maarten - Mr. Chairman, Members of Parliament,

I herewith congratulate the people of Sint Maarten and the members of Parliament on the opening of the 2015-2016 Parliamentary year. As prescribed in our constitution this annual recurring event, held on the second Tuesday of September, marks the beginning of a new political year where as Governor, I present you and the people of Sint Maarten with an outline of the policy plans of the government for the coming year. This constitutional act as such represents an act of projection, an act of accountability and an act of transparency.

PHILIPSBURG, St. Maarten – Prime Minister Hon. Marcel Gumbs delivered the following Emancipation Day Message at the Emilio Wilson Park on Wednesday, July 1 as part of the national observances for Emancipation Day.

PHILIPSBURG, St. Maarten - My Fellow Sint Maarteners,
Good Afternoon,
I hope that you are having a pleasant emancipation day; one of reflection, inspection and projection.

PHILIPSBURG, St. Maarten - Opening Address By The Governor of Sint Maarten

His Excellency Drs. Eugene B. Holiday

Delivered at the

Governor's Symposium 2015

"Governance: The Value of Checks And Balances".

June 19, 2015.

PHILIPSBURG, St. Maarten - As Minister of Public Health, Social Development & Labour, I remind and encourage all of us; to celebrate the achievements of all workers, as we unite in acknowledging and honoring labour day 2015.

PHILIPSBURG, St. Maarten -

Remarks By

H.E. Governor Eugene B. Holiday

on the occasion of King day Celebrations

Westin , Dawn Beach

April 24, 2015

Esteemed Guests,

Good evening

I am pleased to welcome you to this King's Day celebration in honor of the birthday of His Majesty King Willem Alexander. The theme I chose for this evening is: Service and Country. As a result I have prepared my message around the question: How do we stand in relation to serving our country? It is a question that has been asked in different ways over the ages; it is a question that remains relevant today and in our Sint Maarten context.

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