Sint Maarten : Tri-Sport Hit the Trail with Local Author to Learn About St. Maarten’s Wildlife

Association
Par Association 18 Août 2013 21:45

Sint Maarten : Tri-Sport Hit the Trail with Local Author to Learn About St. Maarten’s Wildlife

180813-TriSportThe rugged, undeveloped coastline between Guana Bay and Pointe Blanche is one of the most beautiful natural landscapes on Sint Maarten, and on Friday it was also a classroom of sorts. Local naturalist and author joined the tour operator and hiking guides of Tri-Sport on Friday to share wildlife knowledge and guiding techniques. As they hiked the trail together, they discussed local nature and history, and how to tell the story of St. Maarten to guests.

Nature tourism is a fast-growing segment of the tourism industry, and part of a broader movement towards what is often termed experiential tourism. Geared towards tourists seeking authentic natural and cultural experiences, this type of tourism is seen by many Caribbean nations as a way to generate sustainable growth as the traditional tourism market matures. Focusing on local heritage is also seen as a way to create a distinctive identity for an island in a competitive tourism market.

“Tri-Sport has helped people enjoy outdoor activities on St. Maarten for over 20 years, so it was a terrific opportunity to learn how they share the island with visitors,” said Mark Yokoyama. He continued, “I know quite a bit about the local wildlife, but I always jump at the chance to hear new perspectives and see how others interact with the natural environment. 

Learning more about local wildlife and ecology was a top priority for the Tri-Sport team, and there were many tales along the trail. Seabirds circled the offshore rocks that are critical breeding sites out of the reach of most predators. The group crouched around spider webs to see tiny spiders that live in — and steal food from — the webs of larger spiders, a phenomenon known as kleptoparasitism. Off on the horizon, St. Barths sat as a reminder that during the last ice age St. Martin, St. Barths and Anguilla were connected as a single land mass, one reason why they share so many of the same species.

“We are always looking for ways to make our tours as engaging and rewarding as possible, and we love helping visitors make a deep connection with the island,” said Tri-Sport tour designer Juan Pablo Piscione. “Hiking with Mark gave us a new perspective on the trail and the wildlife that lives there.”

Tri-Sport and Yokoyama plan to work together in the future to develop themes that weave nature and history together for the guided hike on the Guana Bay trail as well as other sites on the island where Tri-Sport leads tours. Step by step and guest by guest, they hope to share St. Maarten’s heritage with the world.

Association
Par Association 18 Août 2013 21:45

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