Island Notices

Island Notices (1779)

GREAT BAY, St. Maarten – Having a baby is a major life event and can cause worry, tiredness and sadness. Usually these feelings don’t last long, but if they persist you may be suffering from depression.

On April 7, World Health Day (WHD), the topic of depression will be observed around the world.  Various awareness campaigns will take place around the globe. The 2017 theme is: ‘Depression: let’s talk.’

Depression following childbirth is very common. It affects 1 in 6 women who have given birth. Depression is an illness characterized by persistent sadness and a loss of interest in activities that you normally enjoy, accompanied by an inability to carry out daily activities, for at least two weeks.

In addition, people with depression normally have several of the following: a loss of energy; a change in appetite; sleeping more or less; anxiety; reduced concentration; indecisiveness; restlessness; feelings of worthlessness, guilt, or hopelessness; and thoughts of self-harm or suicide.

PHILIPSBURG, St. Maarten - Marketing firm Spring O’Brien is the new North American marketing firm for destination St. Maarten. Minister of Tourism Mellissa Arrindell-Doncher said this became official on April 1, 2017. Spring O’Brien specializes in travel and hospitality communications and is known in the marketplace for its strategic thinking and creative programs and campaigns.

The firm will work closely with the St. Maarten Tourist Bureau (STB) to increase the awareness of the destination and continue to encourage new and repeat visitors to St. Maarten. Spring O’Brien has been tasked to increase visitor arrivals not only from traditional source markets, but target more of the key cities in the South-Eastern area as well as in the mid-West and East coast. Spring O’Brien has also been tasked with targeting more influential and upscale visitors to the destination, hence increasing the value of visitor spending.

“The importance of contracting firms to handle key markets speaks for itself. These firms have to develop and implement a creative advertising and media plan for St. Maarten in collaboration with the STB.

GREAT BAY, St. Maarten – More Movement for the Elderly, will take place on Saturday, April 08. 

Senior citizens are invited to the St. Martin’s Home which is located at St. John’s Estate road #6 for More Movement for the Elderly Fitness.

To stay healthy or to improve health, older adults need to do two types of physical activity each week: aerobic and muscle-strengthening activity.

Older adults aged 60 or older, who are generally fit and have no health conditions that limit their mobility, should try to be active daily.

The activity has been organized and coordinated over a one-year period by Collective Prevention Services (CPS), a department from the Sint Maarten Ministry of Public Health, Social Development and Labour, the White and Yellow Cross Care Foundation (WYCCF), Windward Islands Physical Therapist Association (WIPTA) and I&I Fitness.

The Saturday activity is being coordinated by WIPTA from 10.30AM to 12.00PM at the aforementioned address.

PHILIPSBURG, St. Maarten - The TripAdvisor and Expedia campaigns, lauded for contributing to an increase in stay-over tourism in 2016, is proposed to be expanded over an 18-month period which would see a higher financial commitment from government. Discussions are ongoing.

Minister of Tourism and Economic Affairs Mellissa Arrindell-Doncher on Thursday said that contrary to reports that the campaigns would be stopped or funding significantly reduced, government is looking at how it can maintain the campaigns and increase funding over a longer period. The original campaign was just a few months while the current proposal could result in commitments of up to two years.

The Minister further explained that one of the key-elements being discussed with Expedia are page take-overs. Page take-overs could potentially have the background of Expedia pages promote St. Maarten exclusively during periods when increasing destination traffic is vital.

“So despite Expedia’s proposal being for a specific amount, we already have plans to be able to include additional page take-overs,” the Minister said. “It is estimated that we could potentially triple the amount of promotion we’ve done with Expedia in the past with the page take-overs,” she added.

PHILIPSBURG, St. Maarten - Minister of Tourism and Economic Affairs Mellissa Arrindell-Doncher on Thursday disclosed that the current hotel occupancy from now through the end of April averages out at 85 per cent, verifying reports that the Minister has been getting from partners in the industry about having experienced a very strong high season. Last minute bookings could push the percentage even higher.

The St. Maarten Tourist Bureau (STB) presented a report on occupancy to the Minister’s cabinet compiled amongst a large selection of the island’s large and small hotel properties, 45 properties in total. Of the 45 properties queried, 16 reported 100 percent occupancy, completely booked out through April.

Among the properties reporting: Sonesta Maho reported occupancy of over 90 per cent, Sonesta Great Bay over 80 percent, Divi Little Bay is approaching 90 percent, Holland House is completely booked out, Baker’s Suites completely booked out, Oyster Bay Resort is over 95 percent, Simpson Bay Resort over 95 percent. Most of the smaller properties reported 100 percent occupancy.

The Minister noted that while St. Maarten, as was noted in the Bahamas recently at the CHA conference, is in the top 10 contributors to the region's seventh consecutive year of stay-over visitor growth, tourism partners must continue to work together to make the destination more competitive.

PHILIPSBURG, St. Maarten The all-inclusive, adults-only Sonesta Ocean Point Resort is thrilled about the return ofChefs Night May 3-7, a prestigious culinary event founded by Chef Görgen Tidén highlighting the gastronomic talents of a team of award-winning Swedish Chefs, and is now taking reservations and bookings!

Chefs Night features gourmet dinners designed by the visiting chefs, shopping excursions for fresh local ingredients, pre-dinner cocktails, and more over the course of three days. Dinners will take place at the gorgeous Azul Restaurant situated on a spectacular cliff boasting sweeping views over Maho Bay. Azul Restaurant was recently recognized by the St. Maarten Chapter of La Confrérie de la Chaîne des Rôtisseurs, a distinguished French and international gastronomic society, after the success of last year’s event.

Sonesta Ocean Point is offering an immersive Chefs Night Package with all-inclusive rates starting at $180 per person, per night based on double occupancy, available May 3-7, 2017. There is no minimum stay requirement, however to experience the full event, a three-night stay is recommended. Apart from the resort’s regular all-inclusive amenities, the package includes the following Chefs Night activities:

·       Accommodations in Junior Suite category or higher 
·       Morning shopping excursions with the chefs to local St. Maarten markets to pick up fresh ingredients for the dinners with a stop at a chocolate factory and lunch at Chez Yvette 
·       Exclusive ‘Mingle with the Chefs’ cocktail party at the rooftop Sunset Lounge sponsored by Scandinavian Carelian Caviar
·       Multiple course dinners with wine pairing over two nights at Azul Restaurant showcasing the Chefs’ Scandinavian-French-Caribbean fusion culinary creations

Book online here, call 721-545-3100 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. using Group Code: CHEF. For more information, visit Chefs Night at Sonesta Ocean Point.

Participating Chefs:

PHILIPSBURG, St. Maarten - On Wednesday, April 5th, Minister of Justice, Rafael Boasman received a welcome addition to the prison library from The Rotary Club of St. Maarten-Mid Isle. The club, represented by Rotarian Aernout Kraaijeveld, donated 25 books written and published by American personal finance guru and motivational speaker Dave Ramsey. He further explained that the books have helped millions of people to take control of their finances and improve their lives, families and work relationships.

The Minister thanked the club for the kind and needed donation. “If these books can help to change the life of even one inmate, they would have served their purpose” the Minister said.

PHILIPSBURG, St. Maarten - In connection with the upcoming “ Youth Carnival Parade” which is scheduled for Saturday April 8th the Police department is informing the public regarding the following road closures. The troupes of this parade will be gathering at the Jose Lake Senior Ball Park on the L.B. Scot road at 12.00 p.m. During the gathering no traffic will be allowed on the Gladiola road between the Coralita road and L.B. Scot road.

The parade will depart the Jose Lake Sr. Ball Park at 02.00 p.m. via the L.B. Scot road in the direction of Philipsburg. All traffic to and from the Reward and Sint Peters areas will have to take alternative routes to get to and from their destinations.

PHILIPSBURG, St. Maarten - Minister of Tourism and Economic Affairs Mellissa Arrindell Doncher on Wednesday said she was not only happy that the work on Backstreet, financed by the TEATT Ministry, would commence soon but also with the fact that some local young men would be employed during the execution of the project.

The upgrading of Back Street and the further beautification of Philipsburg is part of the Ministry’s continued efforts to further upgrade the tourism product in Philipsburg and to provide the people of St. Maarten with an experience in their capitol that they can be proud of and enjoy.

The upgrading will also benefit businesses along Backstreet that some people were avoiding simply because of the state of the road. The work will also be a welcome by bus drivers who have been calling for the state of the road to be addressed for quite some time.

“The benefits of upgrading Backstreet are obvious,” Minister Arrindell-Doncher said. “But what is often overlooked is the importance of including local young men in these projects for St. Maarten. Not only does it provide employment, but it instills a sense of pride when you give your people opportunities to work on great projects for their communities. I look forward to seeing this during the execution of the project,” she said.

PHILIPSBURG, St. Maarten - Thanking you in advance for your attention and cooperation. Exercise is the Key to Healthy Aging

For those 60+, your current physical condition can benefit from exercise.

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