Meyers: 2000 new jobs in the next three years

POSTED: 10/21/11 12:10 PM

St. Maarten – Two thousand new jobs, and an upgrade for all hotels and guesthouses within the next three years, plus two brand name hotels and 500 new hotel rooms in the next two years. These ambitions are part of a plan Economic Affairs and Tourism Minister Franklin Meyers presented yesterday in a central committee meeting in the parliament.
The Minister gave parliamentarians an overview of the economic situation and of the way ahead. He showed that the local economy is closely linked to that of the United States.
Stay-over tourism has hovered for the past five years between 480,000 and 500,000. “There is no real growth there,” Meyers said. “We will aggressively pursue this market to get it going.”
A point of concern is business confidence. In 2004 this stood near 80 percent but it has in the meantime fallen to a mere 59 percent.
Meyers said that St. Maarten needs between 500 and 750 million guilders for necessary infrastructure projects. “Do we have that money? Absolutely not, but we have to find it.”
To stimulate stay-over tourism, the government will initiate a plan to convert cruise visitors into stay-over tourists. To achieve this, cruise passengers must go home with a positive experience. “Tourism is everybody’s business,” Meyers said. “When things go down, the easiest thing to say is – that is the fault of the government.”

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