This August 4th, the St. Maarten Hospitality & Trade Association (SHTA), officially opened its “Robert Dubourcq Training & Meeting Room” with a ceremony remembering its former founder Robert Dubourcq, current president and former presidents, board members, directors and employees. The room dedicated to his memory is intended for trainings, group meetings and third-party working opportunities for SHTA members and NGO’s.
With the unveiling, Dubourcq’s three children Barbara, Marten and Victoria ceremoniously opened the new room. Amongst those present were nine members of the Dubourcq family, both from St. Maarten and abroad, former SHTA presidents, former board members, SHTA members, Rotary representatives and association’s personnel, Robert worked with.
Robert “Bob” Dubourcq was one of the founders of the SHTA in 1970. Throughout well over half of its existence, Robert was a board member of the association and presided over the highest body of the association twice for many years consecutively. After his retirement he remained serving the association, as Executive Director until July 1st, 2013.
Robert won the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association’s (CHTA) Hotelier of the Year Award in 2004 as well as the SHTA Lifetime Achievement Award in 2012. He founded the “SHTA Dollar A Day Program” in 2002, supporting other NGO’s and destination projects.
As one of the first hoteliers in the 1970’s, Robert led the Little Bay, Great Bay, Belair and Caravanserai Resorts and was instrumental for the further development of Sint Maarten’s tourism product. Apart from his involvement in business, Robert was a Paul Harris Fellow of Rotary St. Maarten.
In the spirit of societal involvement, with which Robert helped build the key asset of the tourism industry, its human resources, SHTA found it befitting to name the new room in his legacy. In the run-up to the dedication, the room has already been used by NGO’s and SHTA members, as well as the association for masterclasses varying from marketing to labor laws to marketing and the recent job courses in conjunction with NESC and R4CR.
“What many remember of Robert was his societal engagement. From the soirees at Little Bay to his involvement in SHTA, Rotary, the Dollar a Day fund and more. His always charming smile that brought many together. In addition, he was a mentor for many, including myself stated SHTA board member, former colleague and friend, Keith Graham.
“It is therefore that we find it befitting to dedicate a room meant for personal and societal growth in his name. Remembering Robert will never be enough, but it’s a start.”
Via a digitally shared speech on behalf of the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA) former director Frank Comito recognized Dubourcq’s efforts from a Caribbean perspective. “Today, tourism in the Caribbean stands on the shoulders of the mind and spirit of a handful of legends, Bob being one of them. He fully understood the power of the Caribbean people, the tourism product and the importance of working together as an in industry in associations.”
Former SHTA presidents Lisa Euton and Emil Lee sent in contributions remembering their former fellow board member and friend from abroad.
On behalf of the family, son Marten spoke a closing word of gratitude. “Throughout his career, my father was passionate about doing the best for the island. We thank the SHTA for putting this together and dedicating this training room in his name”.