St. Maarten Tourism Bureau (STB) and the St. Maarten Hotel and Trade Association (SHTA) have distributed a Hurricane Manual to accommodation properties for the 2019 and future hurricane seasons.
The jointly created manual outlines the role of public and private sectors in the event of a hurricane and provides a step-by-step guideline on what actions collectively have to be taken from 72 hours before to 72 hours after a hurricane strikes.
The manual outlines communication practices, pre-event visitor assessments, visitor security, logistical operations for repatriation and other components, it was stated in a press release on Tuesday.
The manual has been updated based on bottlenecks that arose during a Hurricane Forum organised by STB and SHTA, on June 29, 2018.
During this forum, stakeholders such as accommodation properties, sea- and airports, transportation companies and other tourism-related entities came together to discuss challenges they faced before, during and after Hurricane Irma.
One major factor raised was the lack of communication and disconnect between the public and private sectors and their respective roles and responsibilities. With the goal of learning from past behaviour, potential solutions were brainstormed and presented.
The results of this “contributed greatly” to the completion of an updated Hurricane Manual. STB falls under the Ministry of Tourism, Economic Affairs, Transport and Telecommunications (TEATT) within the Emergency Support Function (ESF) 10 structure.
Hoteliers, marinas and other interested companies can download the Hurricane Manual at: www.shta.com/hurricane-manual.