Editorial: Number of cruise ship passengers and supporting them

POSTED: 08/13/14 11:21 PM

Is it good news or bad news that the (projected) number of cruise passengers could exceed the 2 million mark this year?

To the casual observer this question is a no-brainer. More tourists are good for the economy, right? Well, that depends.

First of all, the time share tourists are the ones that are bringing in the real money. Maybe their numbers are smaller, but their spending is much higher than that of cruise passengers.

Secondly, St. Maarten cannot allow cruise tourism to grow endlessly, or even expecting it to do so, without taking infrastructural measures and without developing projects that are attractive to this group of tourists. The available space for these and other initiatives is limited.

Rain Forest Adventures and Maarten Quarter are projects that come to mind. In the meantime, the government has so far failed to implement legislation to protect timeshare-owners and tourists that keep falling in the trap of so-called off premise consultants.

What ever happened to the plan to ban the fake scratch-ticket scam these OPC’s keep using to lure unsuspecting (cruise) tourists to the property they represent?

Playing with impressive numbers is one thing, taking care of the tourists that bring in the money is apparently a completely different chapter.

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