Johnson: Country still has a lot to clean up | THE DAILY HERALD


POND ISLAND–“We are telling the world that we are open for business, but are we doing enough to ensure that we look ready?” This was the question posed by Tourism and Economic Affairs Minister Stuart Johnson to the public via the Council of Ministers press briefing on Wednesday.

“We still have quite a lot of work to do where cleaning is concerned,” Johnson said, pointing out that there are many “eyesores” along Walter Nisbeth Road that are very visible to him and to island visitors.

“There needs to be a proper standard of construction of booths that is presentable but maintains the Caribbean flavour,” Johnson said of the food trucks and other stalls along Walter Nisbeth Road. Many of these food stalls were never removed by vendors after the 2018 Carnival celebrations and some have been there even longer.

Johnson, prior to the press briefing, met with MMGY Global, the marketing firm promoting St. Maarten in the United States. The firm’s director and team arrived in the country on Tuesday and are scheduled to visit several hotels to get progress updates.

Johnson said MMGY Global has assured him that the present reduced rates for hotel stays and many new activities are “making St. Maarten an easy sell for visitors around the world and especially in the United States.”

St. Maarten continues to be featured in development magazines as a destination that has a series of major construction-related developments. “This means a great deal in terms of showing the rest of the world that we are not just cleaning up and going back to business as usual, but that we are in fact taking our product and expanding on what we already had,” Johnson said.

“The message that St. Maarten is open for business continues to be one of the main focuses as we work to bring visitors back to the island,” he said, pointing out that cleanliness is paramount.

Source: The Daily Herald