The St. Maarten Timeshare Association would like to correct a misimpression that was reflected in the media after this week’s successful timeshare conference hosted by Interval International at the Westin and Oyster Bay resorts. The draft timeshare legislation to provide necessary consumer rights, which is currently making its way through our legal process, was initiated by MP Leroy de Weever and has subsequently been taken up by MP Sarah Wescot-Williams as the law was a DP initiative law.
The SMTA was asked to provide input as a key stakeholder. “We then approached our bigger sister organization, the American Resort Developers Association (ARDA) for guidance as they have a long and rich history of creating a consumer friendly business model out of the original days of timeshare back in the 1970s. ARDA was extremely supportive and connected the SMTA with ARDA-ROC, the ROC stands for Resort Owners Coalition. ARDA-ROC is the world’s largest timeshare consumer advocacy group, representing over 1.4 million members who contribute voluntarily to the organization.” said SMTA Chairman Marcel Javois
St. Maarten has no organized local representative group of timeshare consumers despite several attempts to create one. ARDA-ROC is actively supported by many St. Maarten timeshare owners, and was therefore the only group to practically incorporate the consumer viewpoint in the legislation.
ARDA-ROC, chaired by 40 year timeshare consumer advocate Ken McKelvey, participated with SMTA both in providing consumer advocacy and in donated legal advice on all of the legislative draft, which process was supervised by well-respected Professor at Law Jan de Boer. “The SMTA, would like to thank ARDA, ARDA-ROC, our St. Maarten timeshare resorts and the Parliament of St. Maarten for its support for the health of the local timeshare industry, which is the largest single sector employer on the island thanks to our valued timeshare owners.” concluded Marcel.