October 2004 Operation Awareness, the SHTA tourism awareness program, was launched in the schools with a number of presentations to primary and secondary schools aimed at sensitizing students on the importance of tourism for the island.

October 2004 The SHTA held its second Annual General Managers’ Retreat with a total of 16 general managers attending to discuss operational, marketing and human resource issues.

September 2004 The SHTA held its annual Marketing Meeting with its hotel members to discuss product upgrades, trends and changes in the marketplace, as well as new airlift to the island.

September 2004 The SHTA held a large clean-up campaign in the Suckergarden area as part of the Tourism Awareness Program. Over 150 bags of trash were collected along the road from Reggae Café in Pointe Blanche to Rainbow Supermarket in Suckergarden as well as a number of wrecks, old fridges, stoves, and washing machines, which are not picked up regularly.

September 2004 The SHTA bid farewell to two outstanding employees, Anne Marie Scot and Jasper Dirckx.

August 2004 The SHTA held its first SHTA Employers Seminar on the topic of labor laws, entitled “An Employer’s Guide to the Labor Law”. The presentation was made by lawyers Jaap van de Horst and Macha Le Poole of Halley Verzijl Blaauw and Navarro Law Offices.

August 2004 The SHTA received funding from AMFO to execute a CARIBCERT training and certification course for over 80 employees in the hospitality industry as well as 20 unemployed registered hospitality workers in cooperation with the Labor Department.

July 2004 The SHTA met with representatives of environmentally conscious organizations, Nature Foundation, VROM, St. Maarten Pride Foundation and the St. Maarten Tourist Bureau to discuss the feasibility of certifying St. Maarten with the Blue Flag certification program. The SHTA applauded the initiative and offered support to study the possibility of certifying St. Maarten.

July 2004 The St. Maarten American Marketing Association, a joint sales force of the French and Dutch tourist bureaus and hotel associations, held their annual SAMA Seminars to promote the island in 6 different cities on the East Coast. The seminars consist of presentations, mini tradeshows and resort updates.

July 2004 The SHTA Dollar-A-Day sponsored two students to attend the Virgin Island Environmental Resource Station as part of an environmental awareness week where the students learned about protecting and preserving their natural environment.

July 2004 The SHTA launched a $150,000 advertising campaign in two US newspapers in the Kansas City Star and the Miami Herald in July and August. The call to action telephone number was routed directly to the SHTA private label call center in order to maximize the results of the campaign. The results were over 23,000 hits on the website during a two week period in July. The campaign was made possible due to the partnership with HCP Aboard and the Experience Magazine. For every dollar of advertising in the magazine, the SHTA receives $0.50 in advertising credit to be able to execute these campaigns.

June 2004 SHTA board member, Robert Dubourcq, was presented the Hotelier of the Year award at the Caribbean Hospitality and Industry Conference. He was honored for his 36 years dedication to hospitality in the St. Maarten Hospitality & Trade Association and Caribbean Hotel Association.

May 2004 The SHTA Board of Directors met with the Kingdom Working Group for Constitutional and Financial Relations. The SHTA was able to give their input on the constitutional change process.

May 2004 The SHTA formed a Tourism Awareness Committee with the Commissioner of Tourism, Theo Heyliger and his staff. The committee would focus on increasing the awareness of the importance of tourism for the island as well as its impact.

April 2004 The SHTA, the AHSM, the St. Maarten Tourist Bureau and the Office du Tourisme de St. Martin organized the third St. Maarten/St. Martin Annual Regional Tradeshow. This is the first year that the four parties got together to forge a partnership on the planning and execution of marketing tools for the island as a whole.

April 2004 The SHTA launched its online private label booking engine as a private label with WTTE . The online booking makes SHTA member properties more accessible and competitive in the online market.

March 2004 The SHTA held its Annual General Meeting with guest speaker, Vincent Vanterpool Wallace of the Bahamas Tourism Board. Vanterpool-Wallace is a very motivated speaker and shared many of the success stories of the Bahamas.

March 2004 A delegation consisting of Tourism Director, Regina Labega, and SHTA President, Emil Lee, as well as other representatives of St.. Maarten properties attended the ITB Berlin Consumer Show.

March 2004 The SHTA met with St. Maarten Institute for Hospitality & Technology (SMITH), Paul Riviere, to discuss the institute and courses offered. The SHTA offered their cooperation and support for the hospitality school.

March 2004 The SHTA attended the Miami Herald Travel Expo in Miami, Florida. This is the first time that St. Maarten was represented at this consumer show. The main goal of attending the show was to increase consumer awareness and promote the Island Summer Promotion.

February 2004 The SHTA launched SESNA Business Workshops for persons interested in opening their own business. Close to 60 participants signed up for the 12 sessions that covered operations, marketing and getting organized. The courses were partly sponsored by the SHTA Dollar-A-Day program and the Small Enterprise Stimulation Netherlands Antilles (SESNA).

January 2004 The SHTA attended the Dutch Consumer Tradeshow, Vakantiebeurs, along with a St. Maarten delegation consisting of the tourist bureau and many hotels. In addition to the tradeshow, a number of sales calls were made as well as meetings with airlines, tour operators and travel agents.

January 2004 The first room attendants were certified with the CARIBCERT certification course. A total of 20 employees from various SHTA member hotels participating in the Dollar-A-Day program were certified along with two registered unemployed room attendants.

January 2004 The SHTA Executive Staff attended its first Caribbean Society of Hotel Association Executives. Office Manager, Anne Marie Scot attended with SHTA president, Emil Lee. The CSHAE meetings are an important opportunity to exchange ideas, programs, and more with other hotel association executives in the Caribbean. An important observation that was made was that St. Maarten was definitely on track with its goals and accomplishments.

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