THE “DOLLAR A DAY” PROGRAM
In 2000, the SHTA, representing a vast majority of the private sector, noticed that funds for product development, such as training & education, were severely lacking. The SHTA was then requested to come up with creative solutions to supplement the very limited funds that Government could make available.
Several hotels started the program with a $1 contribution per night per occupied room, paid by the hotel guest on a voluntarily basis. The success of these properties was and remains overwhelming.
Over the past years the Dollar-A-Day program has funded a number of projects in correspondence with SHTA’s Vision for St. Maarten, which is based on increasing the quality of life on the island. These projects has been educational, environmental or social.
The SHTA, with contribution of the “Dollar-a-Day” fund, offered certification courses to employees of SHTA members as well as the unemployed registered at the Labor office for the positions of Front Office Clerk, Room Attendant, Waiter and Host (Sales).
The course consists of 20-hour classroom sessions, on-the-job observations, all necessary program material as well as the registration, examination and certification. In 2011, this program was discontinued and a new training program introduced, courtesy of the American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute.
The SHTA offers scholarships to 10 students following the Hospitality Course at the Sundial School and at the University of St. Maarten. Upon receiving this scholarship, students agree that their progress may be given to the SHTA. Students meet with a mentor once a month to discuss their progress. Upon completing their education at the Sundial School, the students are also required to participate in internships at SHTA member companies.
No Littering Signs
300 No-Littering Signs have been placed all over the island in 4 different languages, namely Spanish, French, Dutch, and English. The signs are paid for by the “Dollar-a-Day” program, which SHTA launched at the end of 1999. This program enables SHTA to do more and more for the island and its tourism product.
Clean up campaign
The SHTA’s Operation Awareness Clean Up Campaign on October 9, 2004 was organized with aims to increase the awareness of the importance of tourism for St. Maarten. The project was sponsored by the SHTA’s “Dollar-a- Day” fund.
The base was set up on the Pond fill across the Sundial School and the clean up campaign focused on the route from Reggae Café in Point Blanche to Rainbow Grocery in Sucker Garden. For the last 6 years, SHTA has been using its D-A-D fund to support clean up campaigns organized by the nature foundations on the island.
I Can Foundation
The St. Maarten Hospitality & Trade Association has donated a playground to the children living at the I Can Foundation on February 18, 2006. This donation was made possible by SHTA’s “Dollar-a-Day” fund.
The construction of the playground was a joint effort by the SHTA Board and I Can Foundation board, the children as well as other volunteers that sawed, drilled, nailed and screwed the structure into place. After more than 8 hours, the playground was finished and the children were able to spend the rest of the afternoon playing.
Aside from this, SHTA has made several donations to organizations specializing in the development of our youth such as the UJIMA foundationa, Ebony Steel Orchestra and the Victorious Living Foundation.
Crystal Pineapple Awards
The St. Maarten Hospitality & Trade Association hosts the Crystal Pineapple Awards every year since 2006 to recognize outstanding individuals and organizations that have made significant contributions to the tourism industry. The awards are presented during an elaborate, gala dinner and ceremony each year. We receive nominations in about 16-20 categories totalling over 80 nominations per year.
The twelve participating hotels are Carl’s Unique Inn, Coral Beach Club, Divi Little Bay Beach Resort, L’Esperance Hotel Suites, La Vista Resort, Oyster Bay Beach Resort, Princess Heights, Royal Islander Club (La Plage and La Terrace), Sonesta Great Bay Resort, Sonesta Maho Beach Resort, the Horney Toad Guest House and Turquoise Shell Inn.
Would you like to receive more information about the Dollar-A-Day program? Please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or call +1.721.542.0108.