Dollar-A-Day participating hotels get marketing material for guests

POSTED: 11/1/12 11:55 AM

GREAT BAY – The St. Maarten Hospitality & Trade Association (SHTA) has started distribution of marketing material for its Dollar-A-Day program, as part of plans to “re-energize” the program with a concerted effort on marketing to increase awareness.
Several hotels have received an electronic display screen that showcases the many activities funded by the Dollar-A-Day program along with training material and informational flyers and handouts for hotel guests. The Dollar-A-Day program began in 2000. It is a community development program initiated by the SHTA that identifies social and educational projects. These projects receive funding raised by hotels guests who give a voluntary donation of a dollar for each night stay at their property.

The twelve participating hotels are Carl’s Unique Inn, Coral Beach Club, Divi Little Bay Beach Resort, L’Esperance Hotel Suites, La Vista Resort, Oyster Bay Beach Resort, Princess Heights, Royal Islander Club (La Plage and La Terrace), Sonesta Great Bay Resort, Sonesta Maho Beach Resort, the Horney Toad Guest House and Turquoise Shell Inn.

SHTA’s Executive Director Alfred Harley said the program’s success depends entirely on the hotels whose front desk staff and management are explaining the program to guests and why they should contribute.

Harley said the program also has a direct benefit for the hotel employees. In the past twelve months over 180 of hotel staff received specialized training following the American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute (AHLEI) professional certification curriculum. The Dollar-a-Day program is also used to assist the unemployed on the island through the DIRPIE program – government initiative to assist jobless citizens with training programs and paid part time work.
“We see how excited the many people who received training are, and how their confidence level increases drastically and so we want to be able to have more training done, and perhaps expand it to include restaurants as well,” said Harley. While much of the funds are budgeted strictly for educational and social development programs, a portion is also used to encourage airlifts to St. Maarten which is necessary for the continued growth and development of the island’s economy and job creation.

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