St. Maarten’s Prime Minister receives update on status of Maho Group

POSTED: 10/11/13 2:05 PM

St. Maarten – Prime Minister Sarah Wescot-Williams received an update from the Maho Group regarding the Maho Group, including Sonesta Maho and Sonesta Great Bay. Besides the prime minister the meeting was attended by Armando Pizzuti, Vice President of Hotel Operations, Bernard Hunt of the Maho Group, Ramona Thomas Senior Policy Advisor to the prime minister and Mr. Quenniche from the Cabinet of Minister Richardson. During the meeting Pizzuti explained that for the first time, and through the cooperation of all stakeholders, occupancy rates at the hotel were up during the high season, with occupancy rates being close to 60%. Workers at the hotel were also able to work five days a week instead of three which was customary during the low season.

Another highlight of the meeting was the commitment of Delta Airlines to fly two extra flights into the island, contributing to Maho Group’s all-inclusive plan.

During a subsequent interview Pizzuti stated that Maho has decided to alter some renovations to offer a more upscale product to Great Bay Hotel, wanting to attract a higher quality of guest and subsequently introducing butler services in our suites. “We are trying to differentiate the two hotels on the island and move forward from offering the same product. Also Delta airlines made a commitment to the island to fly from New York and Atlanta. Delta did not ask any government support which shows that Delta believes in the island to commit the flights from New York and Atlanta with Atlanta being a new destination. We have received the commitment from government to move into final discussions regarding the crucial upgrading of safety in the Maho area. The all-inclusive concept works and works well in St. Maarten because the St. Maarten product is not enclosed inside walls. There is the freedom to come out of the hotel to explore the island. So we therefore need to safeguard this and ensure the security of the area,” Pizzuti said.

“We have had close cooperation with the prime minister and government to ensure the continuous building out of the Maho/ Great Bay product. We also have an ongoing partnership with the Sundial School and troubled kids training them and ensuring the continued success of the partnership between government, public and the Maho Group,” stated Mr. Pizzuti.

The prime minister thanked the representatives for the update and further committed governments cooperation on matters regarding strengthening the St. Maarten Tourism Product.

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