Dear Editor,

The St. Maarten Hospitality & Trade Association (SHTA), the largest private business representative on the island, is concerned whether the long awaited St. Maarten Tourism Authority (STA) will after having gone through its sixth revision, still be able to carry out the functions it set out to fulfill when first conceived almost two decades ago, even before hurricane Luis, and having seen at least eight governments. Its goal has always been to safeguard the marketing and promotion of the destination through an independent public/private  body with its own funding, so that these important activities don’t depend on changes in the political arena and can be mobilized as necessary outside of Government bureaucracy.

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