The Sint Maarten Hospitality and Trade Association (SHTA) calls on membership to share their possible reopenings after hurricane Irma. The association can assist its businesses by providing clarity regarding their post-Irma status. Hotels and accommodations are requested to update weekly as demand is high. Many relief workers, construction teams and airline personnel need lodging in order to help the country recover.
To keep up exact numbers, SHTA has created www.shta.com/we-are-open. Business openings will be promoted by means of publication on SHTA’s social media and website. Accomodation availability will be shared with incoming demand. Over the past weeks, SHTA received many requests from large and small groups whose visit directly contributes to recovery efforts. SHTA sees it as essential that speedy recovery takes place. As of now, Alicia’s Inn, Atrium Resort, Baker Suites, Commodore Suites, Holland House, Paradise Inn, Princess Heights, Turquoise Shell Inn and Simpson Bay Marina Residences have shared to have some or more rooms available. SHTA recommends to send further inventory updates to firstname.lastname@example.org. As many hoteliers partially reopen and give their best to enable speedy reconstruction, SHTA stresses that inventory will change on a daily basis.
SHTA has witnessed several positive developments and commends many hospitality and business employees giving their best in recovering their businesses. However, it stresses various bottlenecks are still to be overcome.
First and foremost, many Sint Maarten companies suffer from financial uncertainty. As many islands in the region have been struck by Irma and Maria, the workload of the various insurance companies is tremendous. This causes delay in processing the various claims, leading to extra lack of funds next to the absence of tourist income. In its advice to the National Recovery Plan committee, the association has underlined the need for businesses on island to get either tax relief – as is the case on the French side – or government assistance in continuing the payments to its employees -as the Netherlands did in the aftermath of the credit crunch.
Another point that will be crucial for continued recovery is safety. The assistance of the Koninklijke Marechaussee and Royal Dutch Marines, VKS and KPSM allowed for entrepreneurs to take the first steps towards recovery. As many marines have left and many properties in both hospitality and business are still vulnerable, it is essential to continue to protect the process of rebuilding business.
A third concern of the association for speedy recovery is the continuous availability of building materials, and more importantly, equipment. Even though the association commends the Dutch navy for bringing in tremendous amounts of materials, trucks and heavy equipment will be in continuous use over the upcoming months. This is why the SHTA relief organization SHTA-relief.sx, that took off already the day before Irma, now focuses on these materials.
The SHTA is dedicated to bringing quality to all aspects of life on St. Maarten by promoting sustainable economic development for its members in cooperation with the social partners and the creation of a fair marketplace. For more information please contact our offices at email@example.com or visit our website at www.shta.com.