Harbour Group of Companies Currently Assessing Disrepair of National Monument Fort Amsterdam

Autre
Par Autre 25 Mar 2014 22:00

Harbour Group of Companies Currently Assessing Disrepair of National Monument Fort Amsterdam

POINT BLANCHE, St. Maarten – Port of St. Maarten – The St. Maarten Harbour Group of Companies has carried out an assessment with respect to Fort Amsterdam, one of the country’s historical icons regarding the disrepair of the monument.

L to R, Monument Council rep Marla Chemont, CEO Mark Mingo and Alphonso Blijden.

L to R, Monument Council rep Marla Chemont, CEO Mark Mingo and Alphonso Blijden.

Port representatives along with representatives from the Monument Council namely Marla Chemont and Alphonso Blijden visited Fort Amsterdam to assess the erosion of the national monument.

The Port of St. Maarten firstly is interested in finding a temporary solution to stop the erosion which is threatening the very existence of the Fort.  Once the aforementioned has been resolved, the annual maintenance of the Fort has to be secured to make sure that the national monument does not fall into disrepair.

Prime Minister Hon. Sarah Wescot-Williams recently stated that she was in favour of the Harbour Group of Companies getting involved in providing some form of assistance with respect to the national monument.

The Port is also interested in acquiring the fort where it can be restored to its natural heritage setting as part of the country’s history.

Thirdly, the Harbour Group would like to see the fort restored allowing for its sustainable use by school children, residents and tourists to tour and sample the heritage experience of the country.

The acquisition falls into the draft ports master plan for the Greater Great Bay area.  Funding for the temporary repairs will come from a shifting of funds from the preparations for the Florida Caribbean Cruise Conference to be held here later this year as well as funds designated for the East-West Causeway infrastructure.

Harbor Group Chief Executive Officer Mark Mingo said on Monday that St. Maarten as a premiere cruise destination must offer authentic sites that have a meaning or is part and parcel of who we are as a people.

“Fort Amsterdam is a monument, is an authentic site, and is part of our country’s heritage and we need to continue to educate others about that rich heritage.

“From school children, to the people that live here and visitors to our island, everybody should have the opportunity to visit the Fort and it should be in a safe environment and in a sustainable manner.

“Besides being known as the ‘friendly island,’ we also have a lot of interesting history, and it starts right at Fort Amsterdam,” CEO Mark Mingo added on Monday.

St. Maarten ranked 18 out of 21 destinations in tours; and when cruise passengers were asked how satisfied they were when they purchased a tour, the destination scored 8.0 out of 10.

When the cruise passenger was asked how satisfied were you with the variety of things to see and do in the destination, St. Maarten ranked 7 with a score of 7.2.

The St. Maarten Harbour Group of Companies takes note that even though the Caribbean is still the largest market for cruises in the world; the market share has been challenged during the past few years by new emerging markets.

Cruise executives have been warning the Caribbean that it must continually work to create new experiences to keep the destination’s experiences fresh.  A study completed by McKinney Rogers International for the Florida Caribbean Cruise Association (FCCA) stated, “For many of the islands, the ground product has changed little since the 1990s.”

At the 2013, Cruise Shipping Miami Conference, cruise executives said that well-traveled destinations like the Caribbean, where cruise passengers have visited multiple times, must do much more to refresh the shore side experience and activity options for guests.

All cruise executives agree that the best new experiences in the Caribbean should be authentic.

Autre
Par Autre 25 Mar 2014 22:00

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