Commodore Suites staff on Sunday.
SIMPSON BAY--After being closed for the last three months, the thirty-room Commodore Suites in Simpson Bay has reopened its doors to coincide with the reopening of Princess Juliana International Airport (PJIA). The hotel welcomed its first international guests on Sunday.
“It is great to see the reawakening of this vital communications hub,” said Commodore Suites General Manager Arnaldo Phelipa. “However, the travel industry in the Caribbean needs more than an airlift and a facelift to survive the next critical twelve months.
“The good news is that hoteliers in the region have not wasted their time during lockdown. Empty hotel rooms have opened up the possibility of serious sanitation, staff education and structural renovation.”
According to him, the hotel has also upgraded during the three-month hiatus.
“Additional measures at Commodore Suites comprise electric fogging to sanitise each room between check-out and check-in. Moreover, COVID-19 care measures are posted throughout the building. Renovation improvements include a rooftop exercise pool with jacuzzi, outdoor gym and barbecue centre,” said Phelipa.
Phelipa also said family income has suffered everywhere in the world and “the holiday purse is all but empty.”
“Faith in cut-price airlines, worthless travel insurance and mass online homestays has gone. Caribbean vacationers will now want quality for slightly more money rather than uncertain comfort for a lot less money.
“The market decides, but signs are that customers will think twice about choosing a destination only for its beaches, bars and beef burgers. They will expect a more interesting and personal experience. The Caribbean with its vibrant culture and community fits the bill perfectly,” he said.
To satisfy such an appeal, Commodore Suites said it has partnered with “like-minded hotels” in St. Eustatius and Saba to offer vacation packages.
“Other premier hotels in the region have successfully marketed this approach
for several years. The immediate challenge for the Caribbean travel industry and the tourism authorities is to rebrand the destination. Silence is not an option, since the industry has a great future,” said Phelipa.