St. Maarten Hospitality Association, Taxis agree on cooperation, joint lobby

POSTED: 05/13/11 12:23 PM

St. Maarten – The St. Maarten Hospitality and Trade Association (S.H.T.A.) and Genesis Taxi Assciation have agreed to greater cooperation on referrals and on lobbying. The agreement was made at a meeting at the SHTA’s headquarters on Tuesday.

Parties began their meeting with a reflection on the state of the tourism industry and concluded that it is “simply not performing as well as hoped.” They also concluded that an underperforming economy and the increasing cost of doing business “were seriously impacting the viability of many businesses” and agreed that more needs to be done to stimulate the economy.

Cooperation

Based on the commitment of Genesis to offer quality service to its customers on a 24/7 basis, the SHTA and Genesis agreed to increase and formalize areas of cooperation. Genesis maintains a dispatch service where clients can reach them anytime by calling 9221.

Genesis will provide SHTA with a clear tariff structure and contact information. Genesis will guarantee quality service 24/7. In turn the S.H.T.A. will distribute this information to all of its members. By guaranteeing service 24/7, it was agreed that this service was a viable option for clients interested in going out late at night without having to worry about how they will get home.

In light of recent complaints and incidents involving Gypsy Taxis, the S.H.T.A. has also agreed to conduct an information campaign with its members regarding the benefits of using a properly registered and licensed taxi versus a gypsy taxi service.

“The S.H.T.A. sees this as a win/win agreement. Our guests, family and friends get safe, reliable and professional service and in exchange, Genesis will see an increase in referrals,” parties said in a joint statement.

Fuel Costs

Genesis pointed out that since their tariff structure is set by government, they cannot increase their tariffs.

“With the cost of fuel climbing rapidly, the taxis are finding their margin being seriously eroded,” representatives of Genesis said in the meeting.

In reply the S.H.T.A pointed out these phenomena are not unique to taxis. A similar experience is shared by other businesses that sell government controlled items, such as cooking gas, bread and other food items. It was agreed that a letter would be sent to Ministry of Economic Affairs requesting that they review prices of all government controlled items on a more frequent basis.

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