Increase in residential tourists on the island beginning 2016

Although the number of cruise passengers decreased in Sint Maarten during the first months of the year, the number of residential tourists is in strong growth.

The number of tourists who arrived at Juliana airport during the first four months of the year is up by 9.5 % compared to 2015 during the same period, and reached a total of 221,672. 19,344 additional tourists were therefore welcomed on the island at the beginning of the year. Note that there were 3822 less tourists in 2015 than in 2014 at this time.

In 2016, two-thirds of the tourists came from North America and a fourth from Europe, respectively around 146,670 and 56,540. On average, the French represent two-thirds of the European tourists (66,780 in 2014). Although increasingly numerous, South Americans are a minority (2.2%, or 4,916 tourists).

The increase observed between January and April can be explained by the arrivals of more North American (+15,589) and European (+ 11,252) tourists.

It should however be emphasized that in relative terms, there were more Europeans who came to the island than Americans compared to last year at the same time: + 25% Europeans and + 12% North Americans. Therefore, the percentage of Europeans is greater this year, 25 % against barely 20% in previous years.

It may be assumed that one of the reasons behind this sudden popularity is due to the terrorist attacks which have recently taken place in other tourist destinations that they usually visit.

(Source: figures provided by the Sint Maarten Government)

Estelle Gasnet