Minister of Tourism and Economic Affairs, Transport and Telecommunication (TEATT) Ingrid Arrindell recently announced plans for a 450-room resort. This is in principle good news, especially as there hasn’t been any completely new major tourist accommodation development on the island for a while. However, it regards an all-inclusive hotel, which means guests tend to stay there.
That’s an issue with which various destinations are dealing and prompted, for example, the Government of Aruba to propose a law that would keep the balance between regular and all-inclusive properties as well as rooms at its existing level. It must be said, both the Aruba Trade and Industry Association (ATIA) and the Chamber of Commerce fear this would have a negative impact on the investment climate, although the taxi drivers support the move.
Minister Arrindell acknowledged that the all-inclusive aspect could be seen as a drawback, but said it involved the Sunwing Group which, of course, has its own airline that currently services the island and is therefore able to supply a steady flow of passengers. Moreover, tourism from Canada has grown enormously over the years and it’s an important market for St. Maarten.
It’s also no secret that several local resorts such as Sonesta Maho and Sonesta Great Bay have already gone all-inclusive primarily to meet the Canadian demand for such, so it’s not like everything would suddenly change. Sure, the hotels that made adjustments to cater to this group could lose clients once the project is completed, but if it brings more visitors from Canada they might also get a bit of “new business.”
In addition, there probably will be some additional traffic from Canada during the preparations and building process, in terms of executives coming to help plan and oversee the work. These persons most probably would stay at the same places their countrymen on holiday currently do, certainly at the start, which in itself could provide a small temporary boost.
All in all, one would have to conclude that “The Friendly Island” and its mass tourism can ill afford to say “no” to this initiative. Increased economic activity is clearly needed and – while many may not want to hear it – in that sense beggars simply can’t be choosers.
Source: Daily Herald
Beggars can’t be choosers