High time to solve it

High time to solve it

News that Air Canada will add a direct flight from Montreal and double its twice-weekly non-stop service out of Toronto starting November 17 (see Tuesday newspaper) was most welcome. Together with neighbour and biggest source of visitors the US, Canada supplied 52% of all stay-over arrivals during the first quarter.

There’s no denying the English- and French-speaking country’s growing importance to the local hospitality industry over the years. As the destination continues to recover from the COVID-19 crisis and its impact on travel, solidifying main markets North America and Europe is crucial, while efforts to diversify tourism in that respect and also make it less seasonal must not be forgotten.

What would certainly help increase demand in Canada is if plans to establish a Planet Hollywood on the site of the former Great Bay Beach Resort finally materialise. Canadian company Sunwing bought the property just before Hurricane Irma damaged it beyond repair in September 2017.

The decision to rebuild was announced, but issues with the construction permits that ended up in court delayed the project considerably. Changed circumstances, including effects of the pandemic and war in Eastern Europe, may also have played a role.

Nevertheless, it’s been almost seven long years and the island deserves to know what will happen on this – after all – prime location in the capital Philipsburg area. Since the former Westin at Dawn Beach reopened under the J.W. Marriott banner, Sunwing’s immediate intention is the last missing piece of a Post-Irma guest accommodations puzzle.

High time to solve it.

The Daily Herald

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