After experiencing a significant spike in North American passenger traffic in the first half of last year, St. Maarten has reported its best year ever for Canadian tourism with an overall 14.5% increase in visitor arrivals from Canada during 2013 compared to 2012.
The island is also the fastest growing Caribbean destination, according to a study done by Expedia.
The figures reveal that St. Maarten continues to prove itself as a preferred destination for travellers in North America and around the world. The Princess Juliana International Airport saw a total of 554,858 arrivals in 2013, a 1.9% increase from 544,752 arrivals during 2012. Of the total visitors in 2013, 52.7% were from North America while Canadian passenger traffic increased from 40,426 arrivals in 2012 to an all-time high of 46,300 in 2013 an increase of 14.5%.
“It is an amazing feeling to know that more Canadians than ever before are getting to know and love St. Maarten as much as we do,” said Catherine Pentiricci, sales and marketing manager for the St. Maarten Tourist Bureau in Canada. “We sensed the St. Maarten buzz through interaction with travel agents and consumers, and now it’s great to see that buzz translate into our best year ever for Canadian arrivals to St. Maarten.”
American Airlines led in passenger arrivals from the North American market to St. Maarten, followed by Jet Blue and U.S. Airways. Air travel from Canada has been made possible through year-round service out of Toronto with Canadian partners including Sunwing, WestJet and Air Canada Vacations.