It took until the mid-50's to recognize that tourism could be one of the major economical backbones of St. Maarten. As of that time, Mr. A.C. (Claude) Wathey, Mr. Clem Labega and other influential public and private leaders commenced launching an initiative to develop the island into a preferred tourist destination in the region.

 

Independence celebration on 10-10-10
Independence celebration on 10-10-10
Maho Beach long ago
Maho Beach long ago
Old airport
Old airport
Simpson Bay Lagoon - historic
Simpson Bay Lagoon - historic
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Independence celebration on 10-10-10 Independence celebration on 10-10-10
Maho Beach long ago Maho Beach long ago
Old airport Old airport
Simpson Bay Lagoon - historic Simpson Bay Lagoon - historic

Travel writers were invited to the island to write about the island and slowly, as a result of these travel articles back in the United States of America, a few adventurous visitors came to the island. In those days there was only one guesthouse, the Seaview Hotel with only five rooms. The Passangrahan Royal Inn had three rooms, and in 1955 an enterprising Dutch group arrived to construct the Little Bay Beach Hotel with twenty-four rooms.

Prior to the construction of the Deep Water Pier in Pointe Blanche, the wharf in Philipsburg was the island's principal port entry for inter-island vessels that included the Tricksy, The Blue Peter, the Hertha, the Aura, the Catalina, and the Antillia. There was one ship per month from the United States of America and sea connection with Curacao and Aruba was twice a month.

Being strategically located, St. Maarten experienced continuous growth in annual cruise passenger arrivals. In 1980, 194 cruise ships called at Great Bay Port while in 1989 that number increased by more than 2 ½ times to 497 ships. There were 105,000 passenger arrivals in 1980 as compared to 616,910 cruise passengers at the end of 1990, reflecting a strong growth in cruise. In the year 2003, for the first time well over 1 million visitors were welcomed to the shores of St. Maarten and nowadays, 1.5 million visitors enjoy the many attractions of the island anually.

Boat Excursions Around St. Maarten Island

Our turquoise, always warm sea needs to be experienced by boat! There are day charter excursions for every taste, with snorkeling, beach BBQ, even visits to deserted islands. Explore the Caribbean's largest lagoon by piloting your own watercraft on a Rhino Safari. There are remote beaches and fantastic snorkeling spots to be found. READ MORE...

Fitness, Health and Exercise on St. Maarten - Saint Martin

For those who enjoy 'dry land' sporting activities as well as the multitude of water sports on offer, St. Maarten/St. Martin has excellent facilities. Fitness fanatics don't worry, as the island has many well-equipped gyms with a good range of strength training equipment and cardiovascular machines. READ MORE...

Guided Tours & Attractions Around St. Maarten - St-Martin

Book here and save big over island tours offered by the cruise lines! Better rates, small groups (no 50-seater buses!), personable and enthusiastic guides - even free beverages - are just one of several reasons to trust the operators offered through ST-MAARTEN.COM. See all attractions in one island circumnavigation. READ MORE...

Hotels, Resorts and Guesthouses on the island of St. Maarten/St. Martin

St. Maarten/St. Martin is an island that has accommodations to suit almost everybody's budget or dream, right across the spectrum. She boasts everything from 5 star, first class, world-renowned hotels to charming little guesthouses, all-inclusive resorts and time-share properties. READ MORE...

REAL ESTATE, WEDDINGS, INVESTMENTS, PROFESSIONAL SERVICES

Being one of the most accessible and cosmopolitan islands anywhere, the doors are wide open to not only vacationers, but investors as well. There are many reasons to employ the services of one of the providers mentioned in this section.  READ MORE...

Shopping for Jewelry on St. Maarten

Diamonds! Emeralds! Any kind of precious metal in any shape or quantity... St. Maarten's jewelry shops are among the most competitive in the world and line Philipsburg's fabulous Front Street. Prices are amazingly low and quality is up to international standards, with several of the larger stores having service centers in the US. READ MORE...

Shopping on Dutch Sint Maarten and French Saint Martin

Shopping is one of the big attractions on St. Maarten. The island's completely Duty Free status and the lack of any Red Tape for importing goods, guarantees great bargains for cosmetics, jewelry, liquors, cigars, and much more. Visitors vacationing on the island will be surprised by the excellent supermarkets. READ MORE...

Sint Maarten Visa and Other Travel Requirements

The following text is the complete content of a Travel Guide, published by the Sint Maarten Government in May 2015. This document only applies to Dutch Sint Maarten and NOT to French St. Martin.

Snorkeling and Diving Around St. Maarten - Saint Martin Island

No better way to appreciate the Caribbean Blue than taking a peek at sub-aquatic life. Almost all day charter excursions offer a snorkeling stop. And there are several professional scuba shops on island to either allow you to earn your certification or to go on extended dives. READ MORE...

St. Maarten - St-Martin is the Caribbean Gourmet Island

Known as the "Gastronomic Capital of the Caribbean", St. Maarten/St. Martin offers the widest variety of cuisine of any other island! We boast well over 300 restaurants serving anything from local BBQ ribs and chicken to first class French fare cooked by famous chefs imported for the season from Paris. READ MORE...

St. Maarten Highlights for Cruise Ship Visitors

If you visit by cruise ship and have only a few hours to enjoy our island, read up on this page to find out how to get the most out of your first St. Maarten/St. Martin experience. After all, we wish that you return for a full vacation on this mega-fun island. We list the most important attractions. READ MORE...

The 5 Most Unique Restaurant Experiences on SXM

Great food is the least we expect from a restaurant. Ambiance, service, other guests.. all is part of a dining experience. But where are the places on St. Maarten/St. Martin which offer an additional, unusual twist? Something you can't expect in a regular eatery? Read up on our list to find out! READ MORE...

The Beaches of St. Maarten/St. Martin

As hard to believe as it may be, St. Maarten/St. Martin has thirty-seven beaches on its thirty-seven square miles! Whatever your lifestyle or vacation style, if nude or prude, there will certainly be a beach suited to the ambiance you desire. Some great beach bars are actually top dining spots as well. READ MORE...

What's So Special About SXM?

A fact so charming, it always has to be mentioned first: The island of Sint Maarten  - Saint Martin is the smallest land mass in the world to be shared by two different nations. Only 37 square miles are governed by France and Dutch Sint Maarten, which is an independent country within the Kingdom of the Netherlands). READ MORE...

Where to Party on Sint Maarten - Saint Martin

St. Maarten/St. Martin comes to life after dark. If you're a night owl, you've chosen the right destination! Take your chances at one of our famous casinos located across the Dutch side of the island. There are innumerable discos, nightclubs and bars on both sides of the island that will have you partying all night long. READ MORE...

Why You Need a Rental Car on St. Maarten/St-Martin

This island is ideal to be explored by rental car! Friendly locals, patient with drivers from abroad, very, very affordable rental rates, an easy road system with little chance to get lost - there is no excuse to NOT get your own wheels while on island. READ MORE...