PHILIPSBURG, Sint Maarten — Under the umbrella of the European Union funded COSME Programme, the Department of Economy, Transportation and Telecommunication (EVT) hosted an interactive workshop for small hotel property owners throughout the Caribbean Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTs). The workshop, which was held on Thursday October 15, 2015, was one of many initiatives hosted under the COSME Programme which 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 Programme. 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 without a hitch with presentations by Diana Hendrickson-Fleming Team Leader of the COSME Programme, Erika Radjouki and Claire Hooft Graafland, Senior Policy Advisors to EVT and VROMI respectively, Anenda Zaandam, Executive Director of SHTA, Carl Duinkerk and Alberto Bute of Mango Green Renewable Energy and key presenter Ms. Loretto-Duffy, Caribbean Hotel Energy Efficiency Action (CHENACT) Regional Program Manager. Closing the workshop Minister of TEATT Mr. Ernest Sams thanked participants for traveling to St. Maarten for workshop and encouraged them to use the knowledge and strategies shared throughout the day to increase their competitiveness and profit margins.
At the end of the day long workshop, participants thanked EVT as well as the COSME team for a well put together and informative session. One participant stated that he was surprised by how much knowledge he gained in a few hours and was ready to share his new strategy with his staff.
Initiatives under the EU funded COSME Programme will continue throughout 2015 and 2016. For more updates on the COSME Programme as well as other initiatives from EVT, like the Department’s facebook page: facebook.com/evt.sxm
In photo: Honorable Minister of VROMI Mr. Claret Connor with organizers and participants at the COSME CHENACT Welcome reception hosted by EVT.