PPB: Alley parking in town a big issue, few tourists traverse town

PPB: Alley parking in town a big  issue, few tourists traverse town

Vehicles blocking an alleyway in town. 

 

PHILIPSBURG--The blocking and obstruction of alleyways in Philipsburg by vehicles that are parked along them results in less foot traffic in town and is a major irritant for the Philipsburg Promotional Board (PPB), which is calling on tourism authorities to look into the issue.

  PPB said on Sunday that very few of the 15,000 cruise ship visitors who came to the island via cruise last Wednesday were seen walking through Front Street and the obstruction of the alleyways could be a factor.

  “Cruise tourists began to grace the shores of St. Maarten at the start of the season last Wednesday, creating a lot of excitement for the island. However, merchants on Front Street have complained to have only seen very few of the 15,000 cruise ship visitors walking through Front Street,” PPB said. “Philipsburg Promotional Board has assessed the situation and has realised the likely reason for few cruise visitors on Front Street.

  “PPB has observed that most of the cruise tourists come into town via the [Boardwalk Boulevard – Ed.] Promenade Boardwalk. However, when on the Boardwalk tourists are attracted by the mountains, blue ocean and colourful beach umbrellas ahead of them, bypassing the narrow alleys connecting to Front Street and the rest of the capital. These alleys are not welcoming nor freely open to attract the strolling tourists, as they are blocked or obstructed with vehicles on a regular basis.

  “Alleys are the conduits to traverse throughout the capital, but are usually obstructed, thus hindering the pedestrians. Subsequent to the low foot traffic complaints, PPB study showed that every alley leading from the Boardwalk, including Cyrus Wathey Square, is obscured from visibility to Front Street at most times.”

  PPB urges tourism authorities to investigate this matter and encourages the adding of signage in areas which would direct and attract a greater percentage of cruise passengers to the main shopping areas of Philipsburg.

  “Over the years, several discussions with stakeholders and tourism authorities have taken place as to how to also have cruise passengers stop into Philipsburg after an island tour. PPB is of the opinion that this is an area that is worthwhile addressing with a solution, so that merchants and retailers in the capital can experience more movements from this sector of the tourism industry,” stated PPB.

  “Getting a greater number of cruise passengers to our shores to experience the streets of Philipsburg has been a challenge for many years and it’s time to address how to attract these visitors to the main streets of our capital.”

The Daily Herald

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