May 2007 Feature
Martinique, “Isle of Flowers” Sees Surge in Arrivals
The Caribbean’s “Isle of Flowers,” Martinique, welcomed more than 500,000 visitors in 2006, representing a four percent spike over 2005 including a five percent rise in U.S. visitors. Last year, Martinique implemented a $1.2 million marketing campaign in the U.S.market. “We are planning to increase that budget by 15% in 2007,” said Muriel Wiltord, Director USA & Latin America for the Martinique Promotion Bureau.
This marks the fourth straight year visitor arrivals to Martinique have increased as new hotel developments, expanded air service and innovative marketing initiatives have combined to grow the island’s popularity the world over.
Historically one of the leading tourist destinations for Europeans, Martinique has held “best kept secret” status among U.S. travelers for years. More than 10,000 Americans traveled to Martinique in 2006, a five-percent increase over 2005 according to Wiltord.
Access and Attractions
“We’re pleased with the results for 2006, but we’re not resting on our success,” said Wiltord. “This year should be even better, especially for visitors from the U.S. who can now get to Martinique more easily than ever before thanks to Delta’s new nonstop service from Atlanta and expanded American Eagle service from San Juan. Combine that with our usual wonderful events, unique culture, great food and rum, ecotourism and expansive hotel inventory with over 4,000 rooms and it’s clear that 2007 is the year to visit Martinique.”
Wiltord also mentioned Martinique’s newest attractions. Aqualand, a great waterpark, located in Carbet along the Carbet River is a favorite for families as well as Mangofil, a complex located in Trois-Ilets, offering fun and safe canopy tours. In Saint Pierre the state-of-the-art Earth Science Discovery Center, offers inter-active exhibits that explains earth and volcano activity. Also, Martinique is known as the Island of Flowers and many gardens open their doors to visitors. One of the latest and most beautifully arranged, Les jardins de l’anse Latouche, is part of a 17th century plantation home located in Carbet.
Martinique is 55 miles long and 22 miles wide. Two-thirds of the island is designated as protected park land. The island is touted as "a little bit of France in the Caribbean" because of its excellent food, sophisticated style and melodic language. Wiltord attributes the island’s success to its characteristic flavor. “Martinique is an original product in the Caribbean, combining authenticity and diversity with the comfort you would find at home. The road network is exceptional. It is an island with flair. The cuisine is superb; the cultural heritage rich and diverse. It is a piece of France right next door.” For more information contact the Martinique