photo: The Daily Herald

THE BOTTOM – St. Eustatius and Saba have their own joint stand at the Vakantiebeurs in The Netherlands this year. But both islands’ representatives are not present due to the local island governments’ limited finances.

This year, TVC Marketing Manager Bart Kin represented St. Eustatius and Saba at the fair. The familiar faces from the two islands namely Glenn Holm of the Saba Tourist Office and Teena Lopes and Charles Linda of the St. Eustatius Tourism Development Foundation were missed.

“Surely we miss them. They are beautiful, knowledgeable and enthusiastic persons. When Teena comes out in her folkloric dress, she draws a lot of attention. People are asking where they are”, said Kin of the absence of the Saba and Statia representatives. Both islands depend on tourism for income and employment.

The purpose of Vakantiebeurs is ‘the opportunity to interact with people and to answer the questions of visitors on the spot’, according to Kin. Visitors are given brochures and other promotional material of the islands.

Dutch tourism to St. Eustatius and Saba continued to grow last year, until hurricanes Irma and Maria in September, which caused the decline in the consequences of the hub St. Maarten. This island won’t be at the beurs this year due to hurricane damage. Last year the three Windward Islands had a joint stand.

TVC, which has been serving as the marketing communication bureau for St. Eustatius and Saba for more than 10 years, has seen an increase of interest among the visitors at the Vakantiebeurs.

The Vakantiebeurs will open to the public for five days from Wednesday, 10 January to Sunday 14, January 2018 in Utrecht, The Netherlands. Thousands of visitors are expected.