Timeshare association comes to the rescue at CaravanseraiPOSTED: 10/7/14 2:03 AM
Urgent meeting with Minister Richardson;
St. Maarten – The Minister of Tourism, Ted Richardson and the St. Maarten Timeshare Association held an urgent meeting yesterday morning to discuss recent developments regarding the new owner of the Caravanserai Resort, Alegria Real Estate and its relations with people who have purchased timeshare rights at the property.
While the SMTA is a resort association, its primary mission is to represent the best interests of timeshare in St. Maarten, the association pointed out in a press release. “The current state of affairs with Alegria offering to annul unilaterally the timeshare rights purchased since 2007 does not foster this goal, and so the SMTA has chosen to act as an advocate for the timeshare owners in resolving this quickly and in a way that serves everyone’s best interests.”
The SMTA has asked, and Minister Richardson has agreed, to invite the principals of the Alegria Real Estate company, the head of the St. Maarten Scotiabank and the SMTA to sit together to come to a quick solution that would not require court action to resolve these issues. The purpose of such a meeting would be furthermore to see that the timeshare rights that were purchased are honored. “The Minister is certain that we can come to an agreement that will benefit our tourism, investors and the industry alike,” the SMTA press release states.
This past September provides a major insight into the importance of the timeshare industry and timeshare tourists for St. Maarten’s economy. Off-season tourism occupancy is considered the Holy Grail of Caribbean tourism programs. Timeshare resorts on St. Maarten, which make up over 70% of the island’s tourism beds had an occupancy in excess of 65% on average for the month.
Alegria’s argument that Caravanserai was not allowed to sell timeshare without written permission from Scotia Bank will not hold up. An anonymous source told this newspaper last night that Scotia Bank was full well informed about the activities at the resort.