DH editorial: Island could do better

That the first director of the St. Maarten Tourism Authority (STA) will be selected by the end of this month (see related story) is obviously good news. The STA has been long in the making and with only three of 12 applicants left, the choice is being narrowed down.

However, nowadays such crucial positions require a screening process, so the actual appointment isn’t expected until September, but probably still before the elections. Minister of Tourism, Economic Affairs, Transport and Telecommunication (TEATT) Irania Arrindell said STA would create programmes that would be carried out no matter what government is in office.

That’s important, because it was also mentioned that one of STA’s missions is to help execute the tourism policy of the Government of St. Maarten. Moreover, the term “temporarily assist” was used, causing some to wonder about much-needed continuity and consistency in this field.

However, the reason for the latter is that STA was set up as a foundation, but in the future is to be incorporated into a so-called independently-governed body ZBO and become “solely responsible and authorised” for performing its tasks. That next step obviously remains crucial to ensure a long-term truly autonomous entity, also regarding its funding.

For now, words like “focussed, sustainable and productive marketing” must sound like music to the ears of stakeholders in the local hospitality industry. Let’s face it, when it comes to promoting the destination, “The Friendly Island” could do better.

Source: Daily Herald
Island could do better