Frans George RichardsonRegina Labega - Photo credit: Cruise Industry NewsFrans George Richardson, the new commissioner of tourism and economic affairs, aviation and sports for St. Maarten, recently hosted a media presentation in New York, along with Regina Labega, director of tourism for the St. Maarten tourism bureau.

Richardson served for three years as senator representing St. Maarten in the Netherland Antilles Parliament.

“I am eager to work with our partners to usher in a new day for St. Maarten’s tourism industry and raise awareness of our island in key markets across Europe and the America,” Richardson said in a prepared statement.

“Tourism is the most important industry and the pillar of our economy,” he added, “but it’s also what we do best with 37 immaculate beaches and the most restaurants found on any Caribbean island.”

Labega pointed out St. Maarten’s duty free shopping, art galleries and entertainment offerings.

St. Maarten, which also has considerable cruise traffic, is building a new pier to accommodate the 220,000-ton, 5,400-passenger Oasis of the Seas of Royal Caribbean International.