Minister of Tourism and Economic Affairs Claret Connor on Tuesday reiterated government’s position to establish timeshare consumer protection and meet the goal of bringing credibility to St. Maarten’s Timeshare product.
He said government understands, full well, the messages it is receiving from timeshare members. “We know that they are immensely frustrated because they feel vulnerable as a result of many questionable actions by multiple timeshare resorts and management companies which are at times against timeshare owner’s interest. Some members are so disgruntled to the point of feeling abandoned and in a number of cases betrayed,” the Minister said.
As stated in various media reports the Caravanserai timeshare members have seen millions of dollars of their hard-earned investments in St. Maarten disappear, and many of them, perhaps a majority, have vowed never to return unless and until their situation has been rectified.
“The talk has surfaced and Timeshare Members Protection has to be considered. I would state that it would be a colossal error for this government to enact any legislation that does not fully address and rectify the concerns of entire timeshare industry on St Maarten inclusive of member’s rights and obligations,” Minister Connor said, adding that faulty legislation will not have his blessing
“The issues will be addressed directly and forcefully. The fallout from the Caravanserai situation is very bad for the island’s economy but far more important is the human devastation it has caused to some reported 2,300 timeshare members. Although there is no magic wand to fix this, nonetheless there are actions we can take and paths we can walk to make things right.”
“We want timeshare members to know we hear them loud and clear and we are going to be relentless in doing everything we possibly can to make them whole. Again, there is no magic wand – we cannot recreate that which has been lost – but there is much we can do to make things better, and we are doing precisely that.”
“As is the case with all governments, and the drafting of new legislation, the process is not instantaneous. But the process is underway and we will not stop until we achieve concrete, sustainable, truly meaningful results. And we promise that we will be updating everyone immediately when we have items of significance to report,” the Minister concluded.