Wednesday, 19 February 2020



Wedding and Honeymoon specialist, Jacqueline Johnson will be the keynote speaker at the 6th annual Women's Day Gala on St. Eustatius (Statia), March 7th, 7:00PM - 10:00PM at the Mike van Putten Youth Centre. 

Jacqueline has worked with the Conde Nast Bridal Media, and she was also Vice President and Associate Publisher of Bridal Guide Magazine and Executive Director for New York Magazine.

In addition to being a frequent correspondent, blogger, and writer for a number of publications and countries, Johnson works as an advisor to several governments. She hosts Marketing Forums and Bridal Symposiums worldwide, bringing the best talent in the bridal industry to exchange ideas. 

St. Eustatius Tourism Development Foundation (STDF) Public Relations Officer said that Johnson also provides her expertise for special editorial projects, such as round-tables, webinars, and bridal promotions that unite buyers and sellers in the travel industry. 

Her motto: “Give a man a fish, you feed him for a day, teach him to fish and you feed him for a lifetime”.

As a seasoned veteran of the travel industry, her career of more than 25 years has spanned the full spectrum,  from the advertising agency where she oversaw and implemented marketing and media strategies for cruise lines, travel destinations, and hotels, to the field of consumer and trade magazines where she further honed her skills. Johnson is a certified travel counselor through the Travel institute's educational program.  

For her distinguished service in the travel industry, Johnson was given the NOAH Award from the Academy of Tourism Organization, which honors role models and mentors in each of the travel disciplines within the expanding field of Macro-Tourism. She also received the CTO's Outstanding Service Award in recognition of dedicated service and professional excellence in the development and promotion of tourism to the Caribbean. At the CTO's 50th Anniversary she was acknowledged with the Tourism Medal of Excellence as one of the 50 most powerful persons in the Caribbean and at this year’s Caribbean Ball, she was again acknowledged with the CTO Award of Excellence for her tireless dedication and exceptional support in the region. 

Jacqueline is a member of several organizations such as the Caribbean Hotel & Tourism Association, Africa Travel Association and the Association of Travel Marketing Executives amongst many others. 

The women's Day Gala during which Johnson is the keynote speaker is being organized by a committee chaired by Ingrid Whitfield with the support of STDF, represented by Product Development Manager Maya Pandt. Other committee members are; Minerva van Putten, Aishaline Maduro, and Paula Pompier.

Johnson directs the strategic marketing & sales development of several bridal websites such as

Correction Daily Herald Newspaper dated January 28th, 2020. Ms. Johnson is not the Chairman of CTO. 

Wednesday, 11 April 2018



Caribbean Opals troupe, launched its Statia carnival 2018 costume collection at 318-Right Field.

The theme for this year collection which was presented, is “Carnival Empress”, which symbolizes the beautiful and strong women of the Golden Rock.

The two troupe leaders are local Zumba instructor Charmaine George and Sherees Timber, who is presently residing in the Netherlands.  

This year marks the third time Caribbean Opals will participate in carnival. Both George and Timber played Mass over the years in other troupes. This year they decided to chain their talented and creative minds by coming together and bringing back their creativeness to the streets of Statia.

The troupe is split into two sections; front line and rear. “The front line is more extravagant, with an extensive back piece. However, both pieces complement each other with the same colours and jewels” said George. “The colours that are selected for this year’s costumes are yellow and different shades of blue. The outstanding stones and body jewels add a royal touch to these lovely pieces,” she added.
Registration will opened Monday, April 9. Payments can be made and arranged in instalments. Troupe members are welcome from age of 16 years old.

So far preparation is going smooth. We are busy raising funds to cover the band cost and other expenses”, said George.

Caribbean Opals are collaborating with “CREPE ART DESIGNS” of Deangelo Butler & George Wilson in St.Maarten, who both visited Statia over the weekend, primarily for the launch.

“This is our first time on the island and we are happy to be here and at the same time excited to be working with Caribbean Opal. We are grateful for this opportunity to be able to showcase our work on the island during parade days”, said Butler.

From left: George Wilson, Charmaine George and Deangelo Butler.

Media contact:
Teena V A Lopes 
Public Relations Officer
St. Eustatius Tourism Development Foundation 
Tel: +599 3182433
Mobile: +599 3185940

Monday, 19 March 2018


Photo: Caribbean Tribes Troupe. The 2018 champs.

ORANJESTAD, St. Eustatius (March 15th, 2018) -- On Wednesday, March 14th, the St. Eustatius carnival committee held its first meeting with all troupe leaders. There are five troupes registered thus far.

These are the winning troupe of last year parade, Caribbean Tribes led by Julissa Woodley & Sharday Bennett, the real Carnival survivors led by Jovita Green, Caribbean Opals led by Charmaine George, Multi-mix led by Sjudi Redan and Island Gems led by Daniela Richardson, Gayle Charles & Natasha Richardson.

We are excited about this year’s parade. It is such a great feeling to have five groups on board. I believe that folks are realizing that they are the ones who make carnival. Without the community’s participation we cannot succeed,” said President of the Carnival Committee Teena Lopes.

The committee discussed plans for this year troupe revellers. The parades are the last leg of the carnival line-up, but also considered the most important element.

Many spectators look forward to this section. Our troupes are the highlight of carnival and the best part for most people”, Lopes said. “Hence the reason why they won’t be overlooked.”

It is the committee’s intension this year to open carnival the troupes in mind. There will be a T-shirt Mas competition on the opening night, in which all troupes will participate and will be judged.

All troupes will line the streets with their creative T-shirt designs and will lead the opening of carnival. The troupes will all wear their team colours as they jam in style to the carnival village.

We are counting on sponsors to assist the carnival committee and all stakeholders of carnival as much as possible. Become our partner in progress. Carnival is all of us. We cannot do it on our own. ” Lopes added.


Media contact
Teen a Lopes
Public Relations Officer
St. Eustatius Tourism Development Foundation 
Dutch Caribbean  

Monday, 16 October 2017

Roster of keynote speakers - past conferences

The Statia Sustainability Conference is designed to challenge tourism planners, policymakers, stakeholders and the general public to develop and implement strategies and practices that can sustain Statia’s limited resources. The St. Eustatius Tourism Development Foundation has been committed to the sustainability conference since the journey started in 2012. 
Tourism Motto: To Inform, To Motivate To Educate. 

The 6th Annual event of will be held at the Mike van Putten Youth Centre December 6 & 7, 2017. The theme of the conference this year is "Sustainability: a Tool for Development."

Roster of keynote speakers past conferences

Keynote Speakers:

Hon. Haydn Hughes
Parliment Secretary/First nominated member
Chief Minister Officer & minister of finance the secretariat


Conference theme:
"Powering Sustainable Development."

With much of the world's economies evolving - with all of the agriculturally dependent islands in the Caribbean now moving aggressively to carve out their piece of the Tourism pie, Statia too is looking to ensure that they get their fair piece of the pie in that it is a country that is opened to tourists and visitors and letting the world know they are! I must admit, this is the first time I have been to Statia but many Anguillians, including some of the leading bands from my island paradise, have visited and love it here. 

Keynote speaker

Hon. Hugh Riley
Secretary-General of the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO)


Conference theme:
"Tourism & Water: Protecting our Common Future." 

The head of the Caribbean region’s tourism development agency has called for legislation to regulate the disposal of waste in Caribbean waters. Delivering the keynote address at the opening of the 2nd Sustainable Conference in St. Eustatius, Hugh Riley, the secretary general of the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO), said the Caribbean had a responsibility to protect and preserve its water resources. The theme of the conference is Tourism and Water: Protecting Our Common Future. Water is at the core of the Caribbean’s efforts at sustainability and that it is important that the necessary policies be put in place to safeguard this vital resource. There are significant risks to wildlife and tourism opportunities that come with development; and water conservation in hospitality. So it’s up to the hotels to maintain safe and eco-friendly practices with respect to coastal waters.

Keynote speaker
Professor Geoffrey Lipman
Director, a global think tank network, promoting green growth and travelism - strategy, innovation, and funding.

Conference theme:
"Tourism & Water: Protecting our Common Future." 

In his intervention, Professor Lipman focussed on the numerous Green Growth and Travelism (Travel & Tourism) opportunities within the region generally and for Statia in particular.  He said that “renewable energy projects are absolutely in the sweet spot for Green Growth and the wind and solar potential of the Caribbean are enormous. Through our partner GATEtrip, we will source new impact investment for green growth projects driven by clean energy technology and benefitting communities in the region.

Keynote speaker
Earlston Mcphee
One of the Caribbean's leading advocates for sustainable tourism development.

Conference theme:
"Tourism and Development in the Community."

“For the most part, we in the region continue to ignore consumer trends and demand for vacations that offer experience. The new consumers through surveys are saying that they want to experience our food, our music, our heritage; they want to get to know who we are as a people. Yet we continue to cater to the visitor of yesterday and offer products solely based on sand, sun, and sea. “We ignore the offerings of our rich history and culture, great tasting dishes, the pulsating sound of our Junkanoo, our steel pan. These are the real assets that differentiate us from other competing destinations and allow our visitor to return to their home with a sense of place of our islands.  in order to successfully face the competition, the Caribbean must develop effective leadership, develop linkages with other sectors in order to stem leakages, differentiate the product based on the characteristics of the destinations and the rich history, culture and heritage; promote and provide incentives and a conducive environment to attract international and domestic investors and move away from using increasing arrivals as a yardstick to measure success.

Keynote speaker
Ian Blanchard
Managing Director/Coach CILC Action of Barbados

Conference theme:
"Sustainable Accessibility" A Growing Business Venture."

There are conferences like this held annually around the world, where there are numerous discussions on issues relating to:
Sustainable development, Climate change, Rising water levels, the damage to the ozone layer, Food safety, and security, renewable energy and many other topics on how we care for and preserve ourselves on planet earth. The reality is, however, the in-spite of the numerous discussions and conversations enough is not being achieved. The sustainability of our families, communities, countries and the world is not achieved through knowledge alone, but through consistent application and practice of sustainable behavior by each one of us. 

Media contact: 
Teena V. A. Lopes 
Public Relations Officer 
St. Eustatius Tourism Development Foundation 

Wednesday, 11 October 2017

Engage in fruitful discussions at SSC

Only good conversations happen at the Statia Sustainability Conference (SSC). 

The conference will take place December 6th & 7th, 2017, at the Mike van Putten Youth Centre between the hours of 8 and 5. 

Engage in fruitful discussions at SSC that will get your journey started. 

 A good conversation can lead to great things! At the Statia Sustainability Conference delegates are given the opportunity to meet and greet with local, regional and international professionals. Since the birth of the event, the organizers have found that most people appreciate the networking opportunities.

It's always a pleasure to meet new people, it is the tradition of many cultures to have a good laugh while conversating

This is your chance to get the ball rolling! STDF are your facilitators, we are here to inform, educate and motivate the community. Best sustainable practices are shared at SSC. The speakers are the bomb! They do research on the island prior to their visit and makes sure that their topics are related to Statia's daily life.

Even during lunch, we are conversating and we promise you won't run out of things to say. Connecting connecting...

You get the opportunity to ask questions at the question and answer sessions, during the breaks and even at lunch. SSC promises to build your knowledge at the end of the day. Conferences are important because you will leave the room with new ideas and approaches that will make you more effective and efficient at work. Presenters are prepared to share their knowledge with you, the attendees, and will break down the information in such a way that what is taught stays with you. 

Register today for SSC #6 at the St. Eustatius Tourism Development Foundation
Call: 3182433

Monday, 25 September 2017


Radio Notice
St. Eustatius Tourism Development Foundation


Event rescheduled

Please note that the Statia Sustainability Conference, themed; 'Sustainability; a tool for development', is now rescheduled, and will be held December 6th & 7th, 2017 at the Mike van Putten Youth Centre from 8.00AM to 5.00PM. Registration is re-opened. Persons can register at the tourism bureau.  

If you have any questions regarding this notice, please contact the tourism office at telephone 3182433. 

Notice from the Statia tourism office*

Taste of the Cultures cancelled this month


Image result for statia

Please note that the Statia Sustainability Conference, themed; 'Sustainability, a tool for development', is now rescheduled, and will be held December 6th & 7th, 2017 at the Mike van Putten Youth Centre from 8.00AM to 5.00PM. Registration is re-opened. Persons can register at the tourism bureau.  

About the St. Eustatius Tourism Development Foundation
The St. Eustatius Tourism Development Foundation is the agency responsible for promoting and developing tourism on St. Eustatius. The mission is to get the island Government to lend greater priority to tourism by providing adequate funding to effectively and efficiently promote tourism in key markets; ensuring a quality tourism product by introducing and controlling the minimum standard requirements; preparing future generations to take on greater responsibilities within this sector by means of teaching tourism as a subject on levels of the education system. The STDF office is located at Fort Oranje, Oranjestad, St. Eustatius, Dutch Caribbean. Tel/Fax: +599 318 2433,

Media contact:
Teena V. A. Lopes
[T] +5993182433

Thursday, 21 September 2017

Alfred "Saggie" Spanner

Alfred "Saggie" Spanner

Saggie, as he is widely known was born on the island of Aruba, May 11, 1953. His parents are the late Alfred and Peter-Ann Spanner.

At the tender age of 18, Saggie moved to the Netherlands. Holland was his permanent home for 28 years. In 1996 Alfred moved to Statia to live with his beloved sister Lucia Spanner. Saggie is an active member at Chapel Piece Health and Recreational Center since 2006. He spent most of his time at the center drawing sketches with crayons, markers etc. Most of his drawings have a history that only he himself can tell. They describe the most diverse topics such as; animals, boats, sea creatures the famous protagonist of the children's novel, Pinocchio etc.

His compositions are unique and are easily recognized and to add, they are all original. In January 2011, an exhibition of Saggies art was displayed at the Chapel Piece Health and Recreational Center with the purpose to raise funds for the center itself. Drawings were sold for a small fee of USD.25.00 each. The exhibition was sponsored by Mr. Spanner himself and Ms. Olga Schats.

The St. Eustatius Tourism Development Foundation also kept one of Saggie's drawings at the office as a souvenir.  

Note: If you know Saggie, you know he loves music and loves to dance. But this is another story :) 

Taken from previous tourism blog.

Statia Sustainability Conference rescheduled for December 6 & 7, 2017


JACQUELINE JOHNSON TO KEYNOTE STATIA WOMEN'S DAY GALA IN MARCH Wedding and Honeymoon specialist, Jacqueline Johnson will be th...