Inside the Incentive. A Focus on Sint Maarten / Saint Martin
Sint Maarten is a picturesque island in the Caribbean filled with beautiful views of aqua waters, stunning hotels, unique experiences, culture, and culinary delights that make it perfect for incentive trips. The island is governed by two separate countries (France and the Kingdom of the Netherlands), but the ease of traveling from one side to the other to explore is effortless.
The Dutch side is called Sint Maarten and the French side is called Saint Martin. You’ll know where you are based on signs and the spelling of the island’s name.
Let’s Discuss Why You Should Go…
There are three airports located on the island: Princess Juliana International (SXM), Grand Case-Esperance Airport (SFG), and F.D. Roosevelt Airport (EUX).
Most visitors from the United States fly into Princess Juliana International (SXM) and flights normally arrive between 9 am and 5 pm, which is helpful for guests staying at surrounding hotels, as the jet sound can be loud and would not be pleasant for sleeping.
This airport runway is so close to Maho Beach, that the planes fly right over the water before landing (watch video above). It has become a tradition for guests to experience the forceful jet-propulsion winds by wading into the water or sitting on the beach near the runway edge as the jets land right above them.
Although airlift is decent into the island, be mindful of flight costs, flight patterns and the days when each airline flies into Sint Maarten. All three will affect your guests’ travel and overall budget for the incentive program.
When Should Your Incentive Group Go?
The dry season for Sint Maarten is between December and April, which is also peak time for tourism. There will be warmer weather with a low risk of rain and much more sunshine.
However, the island will be busier, which can mean limited access to attraction hot spots, rentals, or beach lounge chairs.
The low season in Sint Maarten is between September and November when rainfall is historically at its highest for the year. However, better deals and fewer visitors could be worth a little rain.
Where Should Your Incentive Group Stay?
There are a variety of hotels and resorts on both sides of the island for you to choose from. Knowing your event’s budget, goals for the trip and demographics will really help when selecting a resort.
Deep dive into the hotel and resort options on this blog for further research.
During a recent site visit, we quizzed the locals on where they would stay on vacation, and most of them (who were younger) said they would stay on the Dutch side because it had better nightlife. Depending on your demographic, that perspective may help guide you to the right area for your group. The French side offered more elevated experiences with fine dining and quieter beaches.
Unique and Local Events on the Saint Martin (that may impact your incentive trip)
Every tourist destination offers unique and interesting local events for visitors and locals. Being aware of when these are happening can guide planners when selecting a time of year to visit St. Martin. During these events, hotel rooms on the island are scarcer and activities are limited. See below for a list of large events happening yearly on the island.
How can we help?
Are you ready to offer your group an amazing incentive option in St. Martin/Sint Maarten?
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