Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Statia well represented at the Vakantiebeurs 2011

(photos show Statians living in Holland who visited the Statia Booth)

Oranjestad - St.Eustatius was well represented at the vacation fair “vakantiebeurs” in Utrecht, the Netherlands by acting Director of Tourism Charles Lindo and Public Relations Officer Makeba Mitchell. The “vakantiebeurs” is the biggest vacation fair in the Netherlands and is held once a year in January. The theme for this year’s fair was “Unforgettable Destinations” and St.Eustatius was a perfect fit.

The vacation fair is where one goes to collect all the necessary information to help them choose, plan and in a way “experience their vacation”. One won’t only find information about the destination itself but you can even learn about the culture, the music and the food.

The fair started on Tuesday January 11 for tour operators and travel agencies only; and from January 12-16 it was open to the general public. Visitors came from far and near, with or without their families and made a fun day of the entire affair by visiting the different stands, collecting brochures, asking questions, enjoying the entertainment and sampling the various foods etc.
Statia’s exhibitor booth was located in the Caribbean village close to the entertainment stage and decorated with lots of colorful pull-up banners showing various photos of the island. Promotional material used to hand out to the visitors consisted of book markers, posters, maps, postcards, pens, brochures etc all courtesy of TVC Reclame BV in Holland. Statia was well represented in more ways than one. Thousands and thousands of visitors showed up at the fair every day and it was incredible to see how many people actually stopped at the booth to ask questions such as: “how to get to Statia”, “what is there to do on statia”, “is it safe for children and elderly people to visit”. There were also those who stopped by after viewing a documentary on (dutch) tv about the 3 new municipalities to Holland which peaked their interest into wanting to learn more about the islands.

Figures show that the visitor turn out at the fair was well over 100,000 with the slowest day having more than 14,000 visitors. The Statia booth alone proudly distributed thousands of information packages inlcuding pens, dvd’s, brochures, bookmarkers, postcards etc.

In conclusion the vacation fair was a first time experience for Ms. Mitchell but she says she was impressed with the contacts made, the visitor turnout, the interest shown in Statia as a vacation destination and she’s looking forward to seeing a positive increase in the arrival of Dutch tourists to the island later this year and into next year.

Thursday, January 06, 2011

SAGGIE exhibits at Statia Tourist Office

SAGGIE Spanner was born on Aruba on May 11 1953. His parents are the late Alfred and Peter-Ann Spanner.

At the tender age of 18, SAGGIE moved to Holland and remained there for 28 years. In 1996 he moved to Statia to live with his sister Lucia Spanner.

Since 2006 SAGGIE attends the Chapel Piece Health and Recreational Center on a daily basis where he spends most of his time drawing with pencils, crayons, markers or pens.

Most of SAGGIE'S drawings have a history that only SAGGIE can tell. They are about the most diverse topics, such as: a camel, a witch, Pinochio, a boat, a fish etc.

His compositions are easily recognized and are quite unique!
They are all original "SAGGIES".
The exhibition is meant to raise funds for the Chapel Piece Health and Recreational Center and the frames with drawings are sold for $25.00 each.

You can view the drawings from January 10-January 21 2011 at the Statia Tourist Office at Fort Oranje and the Gertrude Judson Library on Fort Oranjestraat

The exhibition is sponsored by SAGGIE Spanner and Olga Schats.