Not to be ignored

Not to be ignored

St. Maarten Timeshare Association (SMTA) confirmed fears that high airfares and limited service are having a negative effect on summer bookings (see Monday paper). Particularly flying here from North America appears more difficult and substantially costlier than before.

So are most other products, of course, including jet fuel. SMTA understands the challenges carriers face, but says a way must be found to make travel to the island affordable again because the population’s livelihood largely depends on it.

In the end a destination’s success – and likewise potential failure – is that of everyone concerned, including those transporting its visitors. Should their numbers decline too much this could eventually lead to structurally less demand for airline seats and backfire by undermining business on a route with a proven profitable track record in most cases.

The involvement of stakeholders to seek solutions therefore makes sense, because ultimately they are all in this together. Especially the major worry expressed over this year’s “slower period” from August to mid-November seems serious enough to prompt short-term action.

One thing is for sure: Considering the dominant role of the timeshare sector within St. Maarten’s stay-over tourism industry, its urgent plea is not to be ignored.

The Daily Herald

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