SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) —The Minister of Tourism Economic Affairs Transport & Telecommunication continues to dialogue closely with hoteliers on St. Maarten as part of the Tourism Ministry’s effort to improve its room capacity which stands presently at 67% of the pre-Hurricane Irma figures.
Johnson and Head of the St. Maarten Tourist Bureau May-Ling Chun visited Holland House on Friday. The two government officials spoke to the hotel’s General Manager Mr Paul Boetekees and held what was reported to be a healthy discussion about the new marketing strategy and rebuilding progress for the 55 room hotel.
“The progress being made by at the hotels on the island is heartwarming as it gives me and the ministry of tourism for both sides of the island a strong message to deliver to our international partners when we travel to promote the destination,” said Johnson. He said the reopening of hotels and the return of airlifts to St. Maarten go hand in hand as “we simply have to ensure that the beds are available for the high number of visitor interest in our destination coming from countries around the globe.”
A popular location for residents along with regional and international visitors, Holland House, has embarked some significant changes adding an executive floor that has been booked since its opening. Since reopening post, Irma Boetekees says the hotel has been doing well with its occupancy remaining very high although it took a slight dip in May.
During the meeting with the GM, Minister Johnson took the opportunity to discuss the possibilities for further strengthening of the collaborative efforts between the STB and Holland House as well as other hotels on different scheduled activities which are designed to increase the general visitor arrival. The intention is to ensure that destination awareness remains a high priority with constant updates being provided to the international community on developments such as the return of hotels and increase in the number of rooms available as well as tours and other unique attractions.
Chun said, “Working closely with our properties is crucial as they know who is visiting the destination and staying at their hotels and resorts.”
These visits to the local hotels have been carried out over the past 12 months as part of Minister Johnson’s goal to build a close working relationship with the hotels and to foster a higher level of communication between the business community and the Ministry. The visit to Holland House Hotel included a tour of some guest rooms to see the progress made with repairs. The hotel has maintained a very modern and trendy boutique style of accommodations.