St Maarten’s PJIA: Information booths, immigration pre-clearance focus of inter-island aviation meeting

The inter-island meeting hosted by the Princess Juliana International Airport (PJIA) between the tourist offices of St. Martin, St. Maarten, Anguilla, and St. Barths, focussed mainly on making available tourist information booths at PJIA as well as the possibility of immigration pre-clearance for the hub islands.

Tourism officials and representatives during power point presentation at the Inter-Island Meeting (11.30.11). L-R: Ines Choisy, tourism representative, St. Barths; Hon. Hayden Hughes, Anguilla; Silviane John, St. Martin Tourist Office; Hon. Louis Jeffry, COM vice president in charge of Education, Youth, Culture, Sports and Tourism. (PJIA photo)

The meeting was attended by representatives of four of the six destinations and was considered a success as important matters were discussed in an atmosphere of cooperation and mutual assistance.

During the meeting, PJIA disclosed that the tourist information booths for the hub islands would be established at the arrival hall, past immigration, where the public telephones are currently situated.

The telephones will be moved to other locations in the baggage claim area. The tourist information booths, for which several designs are now being considered, will be rented for a fee to the participating islands.

The inter-island pre-clearance project, though in its beginning stages, will enable passengers bound for Anguilla, St. Barths, Saba, and St. Eustatius to go through the respective immigration controls at PJIA, making it unnecessary for them to do so upon arrival on those islands.

St. Maarten’s Minister of Justice, Roland Duncan, came in for high praise for his endorsement of this initiative which will not only save passengers valuable time, but would also represent some additional revenue for PJIA.

The Princess Juliana International Airport serves as a hub to all these neighboring islands, a fact that was critical in the development of the expansion plans of PJIA. It is also a major point in attracting new airlines to the airport.

Tourism directors from Anguilla, St. Barths, and St. Maarten during a power point display of air travel data at the Inter-Island meeting hosted by PJIA. L-R: Eustace Guishard, chairman, Anguilla Tourist Board; Stephanie Besserie, tourism representative, St. Barths; Candis Niles, director, Anguilla Tourist Board; May-Ling Chun, director, St. Maarten Tourist Bureau. (PJIA photo)

Tourism authorities on the hub islands have been meeting to harmonize their plans, and fine-tune their strategies as it pertains to their core business. The islands and PJIA will once again come together at the next inter-island meeting, which will be held on Anguilla later this month.

Regina LaBega, managing director of the Princess Juliana International Airport Operating Company, chaired the inter-island meeting.

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