New board for St. Maarten Small Properties Association; seeks stronger tourism partnerships locally, regionally

The St. Maarten Small Properties Association (SMSPA) held its board elections here on March 22, 2017 at Carl & Sons Lounge, said Ms. Nzinga Lake, re-elected to a second term as president of the group of small hotel owners and operators.

The newly elected treasurer of SMSPA is Ms. Jeanina Dupersoy and the new secretary is Ms. Lorraine Scot. “The new board is committed and focused on the objectives, goals, and mission of SMSPA,” said Lake, who represents LAMA Guest House.

The association’s membership includes hoteliers that have been active in tourism for over 30 years and represents over 200 rooms, said Lake.

“Ms. Dupersoy is the manager of Alicia Inn, and she has considerable knowledge in tourism and hospitality trends,” said Lake. Alicia’s Inn is the family-owned guesthouse started by Mrs. Marvis Leonard and operated by Ms. Dupersoy, her daughter. Ms. Dupersoy holds a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering and an MBA.

“Ms. Scot represents Kary’s Guest House, also a family-owned property, and it is managed by Ms. Scott and her siblings. Ms. Scott says that she is ‘eager to take on this new challenge, to shed light on the forgotten visitors to St. Maarten’ that make regular use of small properties,” said Lake. Scot has a degree in mass communication.

“The small hotel sector has long complained about its inability to compete with large hotels. Individually and as a group small hoteliers have sought promotional and marketing partnerships with government as our members don’t have the same marketing budget that large hotels do. Sometimes there is no marketing budget at all,” said Lake.

“The SMPA mission and goal, which we will elaborate on starting in 2017, include working on open and concrete discussions with a broad base of stakeholders in our community. That includes government agencies such as the ministry of tourism and the tourist board; bankers association, sports associations, airlines and travel representatives; along with other small hotels,” said Lake.

“The idea is also to take advantage of key opportunities available by partnering to empower and motivate our members through training, product development, and promoting their properties and our island destination,” said Lake, who has a degree in marketing.

Small hotel properties that are interested in becoming members of SMPA can contact the association at st**********************@gm***.com, said Lake.