Muriel Wiltord of Martinique

Muriel Wiltord, director, Americas of the Martinique Promotion Bureau, was inducted into France’s prestigious Legion of Honor on July 14 in recognition of her 33 years of service in promoting Martinique, a French overseas department, in the US and globally.

Wiltord was enshrined at the rank of chevalier, according to Martinique press reports. Induction into the Legion of Honor is France’s highest order of merit for military and civil achievement.

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A total of 423 individuals were inducted into the Legion of Honor on July 14 including director Constantin Costa-Gavras, astronaut Thomas Pesquet, actor Jean-Paul Belmondo and several World War II French resistance fighters.

In a 2019 TravelPulse interview, Wiltord describes Martinique as a sophisticated mixture of natural beauty with fascinating history and culture.

“Our flag is le Tricolour, our currency is the Euro, and French is the official language,” she said. “The same fantastic French wines and champagnes, fashions and perfumes that you find in Paris, you can also find here.”

She added that Martinique is also distinctly Caribbean. “In addition to French, locals also speak Creole,” she said. “Traditional local dishes like Colombo and Calaloo mirror those of neighboring islands, and cultural customs and festivals like storytelling, Carnival and the Yole Boat Race are very much alive in Martinique.”

The destination’s visitor arrivals have climbed steadily in recent years. The French Caribbean nation hosted 537,391 overnight guests in 2018, a slim 0.3 percent increase over 2017 that follows larger increases in 2017 and 2016 (the first year arrivals exceeded 500,000 visitors).

The Legion of Honor was created in 1802 by Napoleon Bonaparte and rewards military and civilians who have rendered “eminent services” to France.