St. Maarten – Under the umbrella of the European Union funded COSME Program, the Department of Economy, Transportation and Telecommunication hosted an interactive workshop for small hotel property owners throughout the Caribbean Overseas Countries and Territories last Thursday. It was one of many initiatives hosted under the COSME Program that seeks to strengthen the competitiveness of small and medium sized enterprises throughout the Caribbean Overseas Countries and Territories.
As tourism remains the main economic industry throughout the region, organizers thought it appropriate to find ways to support small property owners via the COSME Program. By bringing together property owners from St. Maarten, Anguilla, the British Virgin Islands, Curacao, Saba, St. Eustatius and Montserrat organizers were able to share best practices as well as immediate cost cutting measures that would decrease high energy usage. Energy efficiency was also stressed upon by Minister of Vromi Claret Connor who encouraged the participants to rethink their approach to energy efficiency in their properties. Minister Connor urged the property owners to think of creative ways to encourage all guests and property staff to buy into the notion that saving the environment should be a personal, local and global effort.
Following Minister Connor’s opening words the day continued with presentations by Diana Hendrickson-Fleming, team leader of the COSME Program, Erika Radjouki and Claire Hooft Graafland, senior policy advisors, Anenda Zaandam, Executive Director of SHTA, Carl Duinkerk and Alberto Bute of Mango Green Renewable Energy and key presenter Loretto-Duffy, regional program manager for the Caribbean Hotel Energy Efficiency Action (CHENACT). Closing the workshop Minister of Tourism and Economic Affairs Ernest Sams thanked participants for traveling to St. Maarten for the workshop and encouraged them to use the knowledge and strategies shared throughout the day to increase their competitiveness and profit margins.
Initiatives under the EU funded COSME Program will continue throughout 2015 and 2016. For more updates on this program and other initiatives from the Department of Economy, Transportation and Telecommunication, like the Department’s Facebook page: facebook.com/evt.sxm