Tour Statia Jan-March 2007 Mailing List Final 18.04.07 by qht11617


									Volume 7, Issue 1                                                                                                     January– March 2007

                        2006 RECORD YEAR ARRIVALS IN ST. EUSTATIUS
Concordia/Gallows Bay- Overall arrivals in St. Eustatius in 2006 have recorded an all time record high of
37.835 representing a growth of 25% over 2005. The most significant growth has been recorded in the overall
sea arrivals representing a double digit growth of 83% over the previous year. Tourism officials welcome this
tremendous growth and attribute the outcome mainly to the introduction of an improved data collection sys-
                                                                                  tem by the St. Eustatius Port
                          TOTAL ARRIVALS 2003-2006                                Authority. Another factor con-
                                                                                  tributing to this increase in sea
                                                                                  arrivals is the growing number
                                                                                  of day trippers from
                                                                                  neighbouring St. Kitts & Nevis.
                                                                                  Arrivals by air in 2006 have
                                                                                  suffered a small decline by
      30000                               2006
                                                                                  3.5%. This decline is reflected
      25000                       2005                                            in arrivals from within the
      20000                2004
                                                                                  Netherlands           Antilles,
      15000        2003
                                                                                  The Netherlands and the USA.
      10000                                                                       The St. Eustatius Tourism De-
       5000                                                                       velopment Foundation in close
                                                                                  collaboration with Immigra-
tion officials and the St. Eustatius Port Authority will continue efforts to ensure accurate arrival statistics.

Two memorable moments in Statia’s tourism industry. Judge Judy enjoyed her short stay on the island in January. Swedish students on the Älva
school vessel (see picture) where really impressed with the friendly atmosphere when they visited St. Eustatius in March. More on page 8.

Tour Statia is a quarterly publication of the                        In this issue:
St. Eustatius Tourism Development Foundation.                        •    Josser Daniel passes the baton
Tel: +599 318 2107. Fax: +599 318 2433                               •    Tourism outlook 2007
                                                                     •    WFTGA and STDF host Tour guiding training
Design and Production: Jerry R. A-Kum                                •    Front Office management/housekeeping work-
Contributions by Alida Francis/Jerry R. A-Kum                             shop
Photographs by Jerry R. A-Kum                                        •    Tax rebates for meetings and conventions
Send feedback to:                       •    Archaeological research continues
 Tour Statia Volume 7, Issue 1
                                    OUTLOOK ON TOURISM IN 2007

Oranjestad - Another year has ended and with much excitement we welcome the New Year 2007. Much has
been accomplished this past year; 1st Economic Outlook Conference 2006 and beyond, establishment of a
product development fund, hospitality fund, marketing fund, investment mobilization, regular stake holder
consultations, private – public sector collaboration on key issues etc. Challenges included sustainable airlift,
marketing & promotions and limited financial resources.
                                                However, the task continues. The St. Eustatius Tourism Devel-
                                                opment Foundation in 2007 will focus mainly product develop-
                                                ment, human resource development, transportation (airlift &
                                                cruise) and enhancing the visitor experience. A series of activi-
                                                ties are scheduled to improve the quality of service and stan-
                                                dards. During the last quarter of 2006 a pilot project was estab-
                                                lished to encourage restaurants and hotels to introduce uni-
                                                forms for a more professional representation of both the staff
                                                and company. The results were immediately visible and have
                                                received praise from visitors and residents alike. Signing post-
                                                ing efforts will continue with a strong focus on identifying the
                                                villages throughout the island. In close collaboration with the
                                                Department of Education and schools efforts will continue to
                                                introduce tourism in primary schools. We are thankful to stake-
The St. Eustatius Tourism Development Founda- holders in the tourism and hospitality sector. “Your contribu-
tion hosted a tour guiding workshop in February tions are invaluable. We rely on your continued support and
this year in conjunction with the World Federa- input”, says Director of Tourism, Alida Francis.
tion of Tourist Guides Associations (WFTGA).
The workshop was well attended and included
training in among other things countryside
                                                            FAVACA SPONSORS FRONT OFFICE MANAGEMENT
guiding, practical museum guiding, guiding on
sensitive sites, vehicle guiding, group psychol-
ogy and dynamics, running a tourist guide busi-
ness, and the tourist guide’s role in sustainable          The St. Eustatius Tourism Development Foundation held a Front Of-
tourism. On this photograph senior WFTGA-                  fice/ Housekeeping Operations and Management workshop in March.
trainer Felicitas Wressnig has a presentation on           Participants for this workshop included staff of the Golden Era Hotel,
the role of a guide in historical tours whilst             The Old Gin House, Statia Lodge and teachers of the Gwendolyn van
                                                           Putten School. All participants successfully completed the workshop
Nadio Spanner (slightly seen), Carlton van Put-            on Sunday March 18, 2007 when they were required to write an exam.
ten, Lena Courtar, Alida Francis, Arlene Span-             The workshop was facilitated by hotel expert Mr. Parcival Darby.
ner and Hannah Madden are listening on.                    Funds for this event were made available by the Florida Association
                                                           for Volunteer Action in the Caribbean and the Americas (FAVACA).
Dutch students (left to right) Vera Wilhelmus, Anna
                                        Douma and
                                        Karin      Eijer
                                        have       com-
                                        menced their
                                        internship with
                                        the STDF in
                                        Douma and
                                        Eijer are both
                                        students from
                                        the CHN Uni-
versity (Leeuwarden) while Vera Wilhelmus is at-            From left to right (back row): Hilda Doek, Dihiara Arnaud, Selma Augustin, Parcival Darby
tached to the Hogeschool Zuyd in Maastricht. The                     (facilitator), La Shondra Heemstadt, Grace Richardson, Joy Ann Sobers.
                                                             Seated (left to right) are Josefine Breinburg, Randolph Newton and Judith Dijkstra-Fijma.
interns are working on various projects until July 2007.

Tour Statia Volume 7, Issue 1                                                                                                                            2
                                        A PROFILE:
                          JOSSER DANIEL PASSES THE BATON
He has been one of the most recognizable characters within the
hospitality sector on Statia these past 20 years. Born in the Do-
minican Republic in 1923, Mr. Josser Daniel immigrated the
Statia at the tender age of 3½ years. He was the last of 6 chil-
dren. Schooled on Statia, Josser left school at the tender age of
14. He was first employed at the agriculture Experimental Gar-
den in Concordia. During this time he attended evening classes
in masonry and carpentry. In 1949 Josser married Marianne
Lijfrock and fathered 10 children.

In the 1960’s Mr. Daniel ventured to establish a business of his own selling, food, clothing and other general
household supplies. Eventually he returned to his true passion, building. This he did successfully for many years
until 1986 when he acquired a permit to operate taxi service. He recalled working with persons such as Mr. Chris-
topher Glover, Mr. Charles Grovell, (both deceased), Mr. Charles Jack, Ms. Blondel Berkel, Mr.Hugh and Mrs.
                                                      Helen Richardson. Mr. Daniel describes his 20 year taxi
                                                      tour guide carrier as most rewarding. During the past 12
                                                      years he branched out to be identified uniquely different
                                                      than most when he delved deep into Statia’s history.
                                                      “Friends in the USA provided me books relating historical
                                                      ties between Statia and America. I intensely studied the his-
                                                      torical ties between Statia and America and used this to
                                                      educate visitors to Statia. Americans are always spellbound
                                                      by the role Statia has played in their history.”

                                                        He went as far as naming his tour bus “Miss Historical”.
                                                        Mr. Daniel at the close of 2006 sold his tour bus to a young
                                                        local taxi operator, Mr. Irwin Lijfrock. He has and contin-
                                                        ues to share his skills in tour guiding and special knowledge
                                                        of Statia’s history with Mr. Lijfrock and several other young
                                                        Statians with an interest in this profession. “Although I am
                                                        now retired I still make myself available to teach young taxi
drivers about the island. From time to time I still conduct special presentations upon request”

Mr. Daniel did not limit his passion for sharing his knowledge of Statia’s history to home. During the last several
years he has traveled to St. Maarten and Curacao where he has done presentations at various schools. At home in
Statia he has over the years lectured at Golden Era Hotel, Old Gin House Hotel, St. Eustatius University School
of Medicine and during the official ceremonies of Statia America Day held annually on November 16th, at historic
Fort Oranje.

Just a few weeks shy of his retirement Mr. Daniel traveled to Boston, Massachusetts on invitation of Linda and
Fred Ward, American tourists he met while giving a tour on Statia. In Boston, Mr. Peter Drummey, Director of
the Massachusetts Historical Society and Mr. Daniel discussed historical ties between St. Eustatius and America.
There he viewed old maps and other documents including an authentic letter written by Paul Revere and a tea
from the Boston Tea Party. In 1994 Josser received a letter from then USA President Bill Clinton, thanking him
for saving the life of a drowning American tourist at Zeelandia Beach. Other special written commendations were
received from Netherlands Antilles Prime Minister, Mrs. Suzanne Camelia-Romer (1998) and USA Consul Gen-
eral in Willemstad, Ms. Sharon Wilkinson (1991). When asked if he missed touring the island in Miss Historical,
Josser quietly chuckles and affirms with a bright smile, “Yes, yes, I really miss her.”

Tour Statia Volume 7, Issue 1                                                                                      3
                                            MUSEUM PARK
                                         If you have not visited St. Eustatius during the last quarter of 2006
                                         then you are unaware that the African Cross Road Park in front
                                         the St. Eustatius Historical Foundation Museum has been recently
                                         expanded. This expansion forms part of the ongoing Historic Core
                                         road improvement project. The road in front the Museum has been
                                         abandoned making room for a spacious park center of Oranjestad. A
                                         cobble stone walkway leads to the entrance of the award winning
                                         museum. Mrs. Gay Soetekouw, President of the St. Eustatius His-
                                         torical Foundation tells Tour Statia, “We will now complete the park
                                         by planting trees for more shade”. This park is a great place to host
                                         cultural events and for families to hang out”.

                                 TOURISM WEBSITE FEATURES
                                  FOURTH ANGEL & STRAWL

The St. Eustatius Tourism Development Foundation continues efforts to promote Statia’s Artists International.
In 2006 the Foundation launched a section on its website featuring Ziggi. This sec-
                               tion, has now been expanded to include
                               Fourth Angel & Strawl. This Afro-Caribbean band comprises musicians
                                from the Eastern Caribbean (St. Eustatius & Suriname) and Morocco. Fourth
                                 Angel & Strawl brings progressive roots reggae music with a powerful mes-
                                 sage backed by a spiritual message.

                                     The reggae band established in the Netherlands in 2004 features three
                                     Statian born musicians including Olton “Azzizz” Berkel, Curtis “Strawl” Ar-
                                     naud and Errol Brice. Other musicians forming part of the group include
                                      Urmie Enting, Earl Fraser, Kenneth Liauw A Joe (all of Suriname) and
                                      Hassan Ait-Moumad of Morocco. The group has performed throughout
                                      Europe; The Netherlands, Germany, Belgium, Italy, Austria, Hungary and
                   Slovenia. Azzizz and his family recently returned to his native Statia where he plans to es-
tablish a group here as well. Supporters and reggae fans can visit for more information
on how to acquire music of the recording group. Their most recent CD is entitled Fourth Angel & Strawl and
features hits such as Terrorist, Africa, Wise & Humble, Dance and more.

                                                                 TAMARA PERFORMS FOR STATIA

                                                       The 2006 Statia Day Celebrations has attracted many
                                                       visitors to the shores of St. Eustatius. The popular
                                                       week of activities featured gospel, youth extravaganza,
                                                       the seniors in action and much more. Tamara Rouse,
                                                       a well known Statian vocalist, who resides in the Neth-
                                                       erlands, was home for the celebrations. Tamara was
                                                       among the guest performances in over an hour long
                                                       presentation with D’ Mix Band.
                                                       The songstress known for her versatile and deep me-
                                                       lodious voice continues to make inroads in the Nether-
                                                       lands. She travels throughout Europe and has also
                                                       performed in South Africa. Tamara will soon be fea-
                                                       tured among Statia’s international artists on our web-

Tour Statia Volume 7, Issue 1                                                                                 4

The Statia Day celebrations in November 2006 has attracted many visitors including VIPs to St. Eustatius. Her
Majesty Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands was the guest of honour during the celebrations. Another VIP visi-
tor was famous Dutch footballer Johan Cruyff, seen here on a photograph (left on the lower row) with Com-
missioner Roy Hooker and Director of Tourism Alida Francis. In March 2007 we had the visit of Dutch Antil-
les Governor General Frits Goedgedrag and Governor Fredis Refunjol of Aruba. The dignitaries are seen on
the first photograph below with Lieutenant-Governor Hyden Gittens of St. Eustatius (centre). Dutch State
Secretary of Kingdom Relations Ank Bijleveld-Schouten also paid the island a visit and took time out of her
busy schedule to meet with staff of the tourist office. On the photograph (first row, right) she is seen with Mr.
Gerrit-Jan Stortelers, the Managing Director of the Representation Office ( Philipsburg) of the Netherlands
and Statia’s Director of Tourism Alida Francis.

                                  and Fran                    STDF SEEKS JUNIOR COMMISSIONER OF
                    adise” - Brad
   “W e’ve found par                                                 TOURISM CANDIDATES
                                                           Fort Oranje – The St. Eustatius Tourism Development
   Bickett (USA)
                                                           Foundation is herewith inviting teenagers between the
                     quilo, gente muy                      ages of 14 – 17 years to apply for the 2007/2008 Junior
    “Sitio muy tran                        pain)
                         go Madariaga (S                   Commissioner of Tourism Competition slated for June of
    agra  dable” - Santia                                  this year. The competition is open to secondary school
                                        Dalrymple          students with good grade average and good behavior.
                       ople”- Vincent
     “Great island pe                                      The Interschool Debate Committee, chaired by First
     (USA)                                                 Lady, Mrs. Sylvana Gittens, will take participants through
                                                           a series of training on debating. All participants will par-
                                      is (Canada)
                     - Christine Dav                       ticipate in the “Know your Island Test”. The Winner will
      “Love it here”
                                                           represent St. Eustatius in the 2007 Travel and Leisure
                                          gkomen” -
                          g een keer teru                  Caribbean Jr. Ministers/Commissioners of Tourism De-
      “Z al hier zeker no                                  bate which will be held during the 30th Caribbean Tour-
       J.Westerhof (N                                      ism Conference (CTC-30)

Tour Statia Volume 7, Issue 1                                                                                        5
                      Archaeological Research in St. Eustatius
The St. Eustatius Center for Archeological Research (SECAR) has moved its volunteer team to the Jewish
Synagogue, where the organisation has been excavating over the past few months. The SECAR-team has
found a number of architectural features not uncovered before. According to Island Archaeologist and SE-
CAR Director R. Grant Gilmore III one objective of the activities has been to identify whether the synagogue
had white sand on its floors as synagogue Mikveh Israel does in Curacao. “We can now say that Honen
Dalim had sand on its floor as well due to small patches of white sand found in the fill”, says Gilmore.

Another objective was to identify additional architectural features which might help in the reconstruction of
Honen Dalim. The SECAR-team has found the large postholes which held the substantial posts supporting
the women’s gallery on the interior. “We have also noticed that one of the joist holes for the women’s gallery
                                                                    still has some of the original wood from
                                                                    the 1730s preserved in it. This wood will
                                                                    help experts identify the type used to fin-
                                                                    ish off the interior of Honen Dalim”, Gil-
                                                                    more continues. He says that SECAR
                                                                    has also been excavating in the yard sur-
                                                                    rounding the synagogue and has found
                                                                    evidence for a large wall that has collapse
                                                                    along the north side of the property. SE-
                                                                    CAR has also determined that the stone
                                                                    oven that was rebuilt in 1999-2000 actu-
                                                                    ally dates to the nineteenth century
                                                                    (1800s) and has nothing to do with the
                                                                    synagogue when it was in operation.
                                                                    Grant: “Although this is no surprise, we
                                                                    have found some evidence of some sort
                                                                    of structure on the site that predates the
      3-D Rendering of Synagogue project (Courtesy SECAR)           construction of the synagogue. Hopefully,
                                                                    we will be able to report more details
about this discovery in a future newsletter.”
                                  NEW PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION SERVICES
New taxi drivers are giving the public transportation sector on Statia a much need injection. As most pioneer taxi driv-
ers and tour operators retire from the business, the public transportation sector in St. Eustatius is gradually beginning to
attract young Statians. “While the taxi and tour business were formally dominated by mainly senior persons, today we
begin to see a growing number of young entrepreneurs take an interest in this sector. We shall remain forever grateful to
our senior ambassadors who have contributed tremendously to the tourism and hospitality sector. They have stead-
fastly delivered quality service thereby enhancing the visitor experience. We are pleased to welcome the new comers.
We encourage them to pattern themselves after their predecessors”, says Director of Tourism, Alida Francis. Entrepre-
neurs desirous of operating taxi or tour businesses on the island are subject to a “Know Your Island” test since 2006. The
test comprises 50 questions ranging from tourism, history, nature, culture and government and is conducted by the
STDF. It must be successfully completed for a minimum of 70%. The first to sit and complete this test with a 100% score
was Taxi #1 Wendy Hodge.

                                                                                            As part of the STDF restaurant
                                                                                            enhancement project, staff of
                                                                                            Sonny’s Cantonese restaurant,
                                                                                            Ocean View Terrace and Super
                                                                                            Burger (l-r) have recently intro-
                                                                                            duced uniforms. The STDF is
                                                                                            continuing its efforts to improve
                                                                                            the quality of restaurant ser-

Tour Statia Volume 7, Issue 1                                                                                              6

                       New tax initiatives between the U.S. and the Netherlands Antilles that took effect
                       in March 2007 will allow U.S. taxpayers to claim a tax deduction for expenses as-
                       sociated with a convention held here to the same extent as a convention held in
                       the U.S. The implementation of the Tax Information Exchange Agreement March
                       22 means that St. Eustatius and the four other islands of the Netherlands Antilles -
                       Bonaire; Curacao; Saba; and St. Maarten -- are considered part of the North
                       American area. Expenses incurred while attending conventions, business meet-
                       ings and seminars on the five islands are allowed as deductions according to the
                       same regulations as if each of the five islands were a U.S. territory.

 The Dutch Caribbean Nature Alliance Receives a Euro 1MM Grant for the
                            Next Ten Years
The Dutch Caribbean Nature Alliance (DCNA) recently celebrated its fifth board meeting in St. Maarten with
the announcement that the Dutch Ministry of the Interior had approved a Euro 1 million per year grant for the
coming ten years. The funding has been earmarked to cover the operational costs of DCNA and the nature
parks of the Dutch Caribbean.

                          The news of the Dutch Government funding came after nearly a decade of lobbying
                          on the part of the Central Government Department of Nature and the Environment
                          (MINA) and DCNA’s partners at the Netherlands Committee of the World Conserva-
                          tion Union (IUCN Netherlands). As long ago as 1998, it was recognized that funding
                          was the single most pervasive threat to the future of the region’s protected areas
and that the most enduring solution would be to create a Trust Fund large enough to cover the parks’ opera-
tional costs. By committing these funds, the Dutch Ministry has created the opportunity for the Parks to do-
nate an equivalent amount of money to the DCNA Trust Fund and thereby to create a sustainable future for

The news was announced to applause in a packed room of board members and observers who were partici-
pating in a three-day DCNA Board meeting at the Holland Hotel in St. Maarten. With seven new board repre-
sentatives and two newly elected executive committee members, DCNA feels it is ready to meet the
challenges of supporting the protected areas and fundraising for a trust fund, which until the meeting was no
more than a dream.

Executive Director, Kalli De Meyer, and prior manager of The Bonaire National Marine Park for many years,
said that she was thrilled at the news but cautioned that this was just the first step toward a more sustainable
future for the parks. “It may sound as though the Dutch Caribbean Parks will be swimming in money, but
nothing could be further from the truth. In order to capitalize a trust fund large enough to cover the operational
costs of one marine park and one land park on each of our islands we are going to have to tighten our belts
and do an outstanding job of fundraising over the coming decade.”

Calculations show that Euro 24 million are needed to fully capitalize the trust fund and since the parks can
make donations totalling Euro 750,000 per year, the Dutch Ministry’s commitment accounts for just under one
third of the necessary capital.

DCNA’s Board Chairperson, Nicole Esteban, who manages the land and marine parks on the island of St.
Eustatius, said “The real challenge lies with ensuring that the six national park organizations receive sufficient
operational funding in the next ten years until the trust fund is capitalized and revenue generated for the
parks. In the meantime, the same funding challenges remain.” Source: The Bonaire Insider

Tour Statia Volume 7, Issue 1                                                                                   7

Oranjestad - “We are really impressed with the whole atmosphere on the island. People were friendly to
us and the island is clean. We will come back to St. Eustatius.” These were some of the responses of
Swedish students who visited St. Eustatius recently as part of their voyage on board the school vessel
Älva. This was their first visit to the island. The Älva started its voyage from Sweden to the Caribbean in
                                                         March this year. The visit to Statia was not sched-
                                                         uled but students all agree “this was the highlight of
                                                         the voyage.” The planning was to visit Dominica
                                                         earlier but because of the Cricket World Cup it was
                                                         impossible for the Älva to make a stopover in that
                                                         island. The students decided to visit St. Eustatius
                                                         instead, a decision they do not regret at all.

                                                         The Älva is a school vessel based at Marina Lär-
                                                         overket, a maritime school in Stockholm, Sweden.
                                                         Students on this vessel attend school with three dif-
                                                         ferent teaching programmes Maritime Biology,
                                                         Leadership/Communication and Maritime Engineer-
                                                         ing. The combination of studies and work on board,
                                                         together with study visits during the voyages allow
        View of the Quill from the Älva school vessel
                                                         the student not only to study from books, but also to
                                                         see and experience things in real life. While in
                                                         Statia, the students took the opportunity to visit the
Quill to experience the rainforest for the first time ever. Some students went snorkelling as well.

The Älva has 30 students, two teachers, one medical doctor and other staff on board. Classes are six
days per week and are developed to enhance the personal skills of students.

                                                                                 JUDGE JUDY VISITS STATIA

                                                                       Oranjestad - Popular American TV judge, Judith
                                                                       Sheindlin (Judge Judy) and husband Gerry Sheindlin
                                                                       (also a popular TV Judge of People’s Court accom-
                                                                       panied by Florence Henderson, mother of the Brady
                                                                       Bunch, visited the shores of St. Eustatius recently
                                                                       aboard a luxury yacht. Honorable Governor of St.
                                                                       Eustatius, Mr. Hyden Gittens, First Lady Sylvana Git-
                                                                       tens, Commissioner of Tourism, Ms. Adelka Spanner,
                                                                       Director of Tourism, Ms. Alida Francis and tourism
                                                                       office staff met with Judge Judy aboard her yacht an-
                                                                       chored in Statia’s harbour.

                                                    Judge Judy said she had truly enjoyed her short stay
     Left to right: : Director of Tourism Alida Francis, Judge Judy,
                                                    on the island where she visited the St. Eustatius
     Florence Henderson and Roland Lopes of the Tourist Office
                                                    Historical Foundation Museum, the Honen Dalim
Jewish Synagogue and the Dutch Reformed Church. She spoke highly of her encounter with Mr. Rudy
Hees of Dive Statia who gave her and her guests a ride to Upper Town on the back of his truck. In the
brief encounter with local officials Judge Judy, queried about Statia’s new status she had read about on
the internet. She was also extremely impressed with the island history of the Jews and the shared Statia/
America history.
Tour Statia Volume 7, Issue 1                                                                                             8

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