By the Caribbean Journal staff
It may have two different countries on it, but it’s one island — and now both St Martin and St Maarten are joining together to plan for the island’s tourism future.
The French and Dutch sides of the island have signed a memorandum of understanding to clear the way for the creation of a joint tourism development master plan.
First Vice-President of the Collectivité of St. Martin Valérie Damaseau and St Maarten Tourism Minister Cornelius de Weever signed the historic agreement, the first of its kind despite years of informal cooperation.
“This signing represents true cooperation, cooperation that is long overdue in the tourism field,” Damaseau said. “In these crucial times we must think wisely, act fast, and move strategically. That’s where joining forces comes in. This MOU will allow us to market and promote the destination with one voice. “Visitors don’t see two different islands, they only see one island. It’s only us that don’t look to capitalize on that and realise the uniqueness that we have.”
“Irma did not stop at the border on September 6,” de Weever said. “Everyone was touched by the force of Mother Nature. But our determination to get back up and help one another recover together never ever faded.”