Opinion: Safety first

POSTED: 12/13/13 5:12 PM

Service and safety of our residents is most important, but when it comes to that of our visitors, it is a horse of a complete different color. Reason being, safety and service to our visitors is our bread and butter.

Let us start once again, in order for us not to take it for granted, commending those folks at the St. Maarten Harbor Group of Companies for a job well done, and those in government who over the years contributed for putting our cruise industry at almost the top in the Caribbean. Some would say why the big deal. It is a big deal because no less than  603 cruise ships will be arriving into our ports this season, while the closest competition Barbados, a major competitor, will be getting 373 cruise ships. St. Maarten, congrats.

Back to work: Reader, let us now focus on safety in every aspect of the word.

Why? Always remember CNN is always present, because everyone has a camera, as every phone is a camera, and everyone has one of those. From that angle alone, we must always be on our peas and cues.

The Pointe Blanche road is a main artery between the ships and the rest of the island. I would like to firstly address those truck drivers who sometimes are racing with those 40-foot containers to and fro on that piece of road. Slow down. Prevent an international incident.

While we must improve that connection, we must at all cost prevent all accidents, by being extra careful on that piece of road. I daily see thousands of tourists traverse that road.

On December 18, 8 cruise ships will be in our harbor. We all must be extremely vigilant on that day. Let us all try to contribute to the safety of our locals and particularly of our tourists, who could have gone somewhere else but choose our little rock.

Taxi drivers, some of you have to pull up your socks, as some of your colleagues complain about your driving, your attire, your hygiene, your language, and knowledge of the island. You know who you are, try to improve, as it will help all of us.

The same goes for the “gypsies”. For God’s sake you are getting a “lill dig in”, the least you can do is make a good effort. Please.

Friends, let us make December 18, something to remember. Go above and beyond, so that these cruise visitors will be willing to come back to spend a weekend  or a week or better yet, come back and buy a piece of property or do some business.

We must commend the Downstreet business organization for their effort. They are not waiting on government. They are making a very positive effort. Let us support them. Just watch the crackheads and others who might want to abuse the situation. This effort should be emulated by other neighborhoods.

Reader, all in all safety first. I know the police force, and other security institutions are preparing, and so should we all, as St. Maarten belongs to all of us. Let us protect our tourists. If you see wrongdoings, report it immediately, while securing your personal safety.

In closing, remember when we were little here on this friendly island, we used to give our beds to our visitors, so that they would be comfortable, while we would sleep on the floor.

We are accustomed to giving service and safety. Let’s continue

St. Maarten will not only lead in cruise tourism, but also in safety and service.



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