MIAMI BEACH, Oct 27 2016 – In light of calls for improved standards, two Caribbean destinations have gone ahead with laws to regulate the timeshare industry.
St. Maarten remains the leaders in timeshare in the Caribbean with more than 2000 units and an occupancy rate of 82 percent year-round.
Prime Minster William Marlin said after 40 years of offering timeshare options, the island has finally drafted its legislation which is now being translated into Dutch.
“It has now passed through what we call the central committee of parliament,” Marlin told reporters here on Wednesday.
“When the new (Dutch) government comes in, this legislation is one of the first that will be dealt with,” the prime minister announced.
He said the laws will focus on “consumer protection” but also prescribes “a code of conduct” for timeshare companies and sales personnel.
Timeshare pumps more than US$500 million dollars in the economy of the Dutch overseas territory annually.
In Jamaica where timeshare is still a growing industry, Tourism Minister Ed Bartlett has announced that the island has already passed its timeshare laws.
He told the Shared Ownership Investment Conference here that timeshare presents “a great opportunity for job creation”.
According to Bartlett the development of timeshare also presents an opportunity to freshen up the tourism product.
“We have to refresh ourselves and re-invent ourselves,” he said.
Interval International says it is a proven fact that timeshare owners do come back no matter what’s going on in the global economy. The company says they come with larger parties, they book well in advance and generate a greater spend.
(Dominica News Online) With the cruise ship season opening today, Wednesday, Tourism Minister, Robert Tonge, said Dominica has responded to a scathing cruise report while Prime Minister, Roosevelt Skerrit, has called for more positive image of the island.
Both men were speaking in parliament earlier this week.
The report Tonge was referring to was based on a survey done by the Business Research and Economic Advisors (BREA) on behalf of the Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association for the 2014-2015 cruise season.
According to the survey and report, an overwhelming number of people questioned said they were not satisfied with destination Dominica and many said they will not recommend a land-based or resort vacation on the island to family or friends and will not return to the island in the next three years.
But Tonge said in order to face some of the “challenges” posed in the survey there is a need for infrastructural improvements, legislative amendments and attitudinal changes among Dominicans.
(Jamaica Gleaner) The Mining Ministry is indicating that the Cabinet yesterday approved the Letter of Intent for the takeover of the Noranda Bauxite Company in St Ann by American company New Day Holdings LLC.
The Jamaican Government has partial ownership in the company.
In an advisory issued today, the mining ministry said a signing ceremony for the Letter of Agreement has been scheduled for tomorrow morning at 9 o’ clock.
Last Friday, Noranda's parent company, Noranda Aluminum Holding Corporation, announced that it had received court approval to sell the operations to DADA Holdings LLC, under its affiliate, New Day Aluminum LLC, for a purchase price of US$24.4 million.
Noranda is in the process of deposing of its assets to settle debts to creditors.
Yesterday, Mining Minister Mike Henry, said his ministry is in discussions with New Day regarding its financial obligations to local parties.
(Barbados Today) Government’s hopes of a near two per cent expansion in the Barbados economy this year are now all but dashed, based on the latest report issued today by Central Bank Governor Dr DeLisle Worrell.
At the start of the year, Dr Worrell had set the bar at 1.8 per cent growth in Gross Domestic Product (GDP), while putting much of his faith in vital tourism, based on the sector’s record level of performance in 2015.
However, so far this year, the sector’s showing has been less than stellar, with the Governor reporting today that overall tourism expansion for the first nine months of the year was only in the order of three per cent.
And though construction activity rose by five per cent during the same period under review, in monetary terms it only accounted for $47. 9 million, which could not possibly satisfy the Governor’s May projection of 1.6 per cent growth.
(Caribbean 360 News) FLORIDA, United States, Tuesday October 25, 2016 – Virgin boss Sir Richard Branson isn’t a fan of cruises. And he made no secret of that in a blog on his company’s website.
“I have never been on a cruise, and never wanted to – they sound stuffy and dull,” wrote the keen sailor, water sports enthusiast and conservationist last week.
But, the British billionaire added, “I would love to go on a voyage – they sound adventurous, exciting and glamourous.”
And that’s the reason behind him unveiling Virgin Voyages as the identity for his company’s cruise line which will sail from Miami to the Caribbean in 2020.