St. Maarten Timeshare Association presses for consultation on new law

POSTED: 05/20/11 12:37 PM

GREAT BAY – The St. Maarten Timeshare Association (S.M.T.A) is “pleased” Democratic Party Member of Parliament (MP) Leroy de Weever is crafting an initiative law that will provide greater protection people who buy timeshare in St. Maarten. Parties discussed his intention in a meeting of parliament’s permanent committee on Tourism, Economic Affairs, Transportation and Telecommunications on Wednesday. MPs Patrick Illidge, Dr. Lloyd Richardson, Johan Leonard, and Roy Marlin also attended the meeting which was chaired by Jules James.

The S.M.T.A had requested to meet with the committee to discuss the need for the legislation as they believe more needs to be done to protect the sub-sector of the wider tourism industry that generates the most revenue.

“Although we were able to put in consumer legislation back in 2003, this was all done on the level of an island ordinance and therefore lacks some necessary punch. There are some issues that were also not able to be addressed as an Island Territory and with our new status we need Parliament and the Ministers to work together with us to get this done,” the St. Maarten T.A’s spokesman Jim Rosen said.

De Weever then announced during the question and answer period that he was far along with his concept legislation that will protect buyers and the people of the island. De Weever’s effort was saluted by his colleagues who also believe that both visitors and locals should be protected by the new law.

“We cannot just take US timeshare law, for example, and introduce that as there different concepts to work with under Dutch law. While this process has taken some time, we should have the draft ready for presentation to Parliament soon and at that time we will seek input from the S.M.T.A,” De Weever said.

This announcement was welcomed and the MPs present were asked to ensure that timeshare owner groups are consulted.

Hospitality Training

The S.M.T.A delegation also told the MPs that they were working with the St. Maarten Hospitality and Trade Association to bring professional level training to the island’s resorts. Dr. Richardson was among those who welcomed this new initiative and pressed for it to be “extended throughout the island.”

Today the St. Maarten Timeshare Association had a meeting, at its request, with Parliament’s Permanent Committee on Tourism, Economy, Transportation and Telecommunications to discuss the need for updating the Island’s timeshare consumer regulation.

MP Leonard expressed concern over reports of deceptive marketing practices being used by French marketers who are crossing over to the Dutch side to promote sales. The S.M.T.A. shared his concerns and told the MPs that they do not condone deceptive practices.

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