March 6, 2004 - #17
More visitors in 2003 than in 2002
According to numbers provided by the Frontier Police (PAF), a total of 175,055 passengers arrived in Saint-Barth in 2003, port and airport combined, for 7,771 more passengers than in 2002. The term "passengers" includes both residents and visitors alike as the PAF does not have a system that allows the exact number of tourists to be counted. At the airport, 76, 671 arriving passengers were counted in 2003, with an additional 98,384 for the Port of Gustavia. At both the port and the airport, September was the slowest month, with just 3,159 passengers stepping onto the tarmac in Saint-Jean, with October a little busier with 4,982 arrivals. The numbers start to climb in November with 6,807 passengers arriving by plane. December wins first prize for the highest numbers with 8,281 passengers coming in by air. In spite of the music festival, January shows an annual drop-off in numbers, with a total of 7,519 passengers this year, yet the numbers spiked again in February at 8,158. With 7,658 passengers in March and 7,247 in April then the figures average 5,000 arrivals per month at the airport from May through August. If the PAF doesn't register the difference between residents and visitors, they do tally the various nationalities of the passengers. Americans top the list, followed by various Europeans, led by the French, Italians, Germans, and then British. In January, February, March, and December, an average of 3,700 passengers from the United States arrived at the airport, an average that drops to 1,975 American visitors per month from April through August. In September 2003 only 334 Americans arrived at the airport in Saint-Jean, along with 24 Canadians, 10 Argentineans, 35 Italians, and 48 Brits.
Carnival parades and the Arts Festival
Revelers large and small paraded through the streets of Gustavia during this year's Carnival festivities. The colorful parades showed off a variety of imaginative and original costume ideas. Carnival week concluded with an Arts Festival at Marie's Manoir in Lorient.
Twenty-five artists exhibited painting, sculpture, jewelry, basketwork, music, culinary arts, and other handmade objects in the hotel's charming tropical garden on February 27 through 29. Marie-Dominique, the owner of the Manoir, has two goals for this event: to introduce the artists living on the island to each other, and to give them the chance to get together and share some good times. The fourth edition of this popular event is planned for next year, unless Marie-Dominque and the artists are whimsical enough to organize another arts festival this summer.
More to come