PHILIPSBURG, St. Maarten — Long time tourism and hospitality professional May-Ling Chun will contest the September 26 Parliamentary Elections with the United People’s (UP) party. This will be Chun’s first bid for a seat in Parliament.
Chun said her decision to join UP is rooted in the party’s objectives, ideology, and always progressive vision of the country. “I am running in the parliamentary election not for politics, but for public service” said Chun, who is also known for her dedication to country’s tourism industry in her professional and personal capacities for more than two decades.
UP leader Member of Parliament Theo Heyliger said Chun brings with her a wealth of experience from working and contributing to the country’s main economic pillar of tourism. “The inclusion of May on the UP list is a signal of our continued commitment to see more professionals enter the public service arena to bring about a more professional and goal oriented focus not only on politics, but for the ultimate benefit of the country. The UP welcomes her as a candidate,” said Heyliger.
Chun’s aim is to bring about improvements in the quality of life of all people of St. Maarten. “My quest to make a positive difference for St. Maarten and everyone who calls here home,” she said in announcing her candidacy.
High on Chun’s priority list are fostering continued economic development, bettering the education system, safeguarding the environment, and ensuring sustainable and affordable care for the elderly and youth. “These challenges have my full attention. Together with UP, we will work to bring improvement and to uplift these aspects of our society and more in the coming Parliamentary team,” Chun said.
“We have seen a deterioration of our tourism product and the urgent need for its revitalization if we are to maintain our competitive edge as a leading destination. As an MP, I intend to push for the development of tourism policies driven by education. Our education and tourism legislation must complement each other if we are to survive as a thriving destination. This is what I will work to achieve in my role as a legislator,” said Chun.
An educational policy that best fit the diversity of the country’s unique educational system will also be a focus of Chun. “Compulsory education has been a breakthrough and a challenge for St. Maarten. It is time for us to seriously address the needs of our students, whether they are very academically inclined, more into performance arts or if they have special needs. We need to put policies and legislation in place to make certain no child is left wanting for a sound education, because each and every one of our children matter and are needed to build our country,” said Chun.
The parliamentary hopeful holds a Master’s Degree in Business Administration (MBA) from the John F. Welch School of Business, Sacred Heart University, Fairfield, CT, and a Bachelor’s Degree in Hotel/Restaurant Management and a Minor in Business from New York Institute of Technology, Old Westbury, New York.
She currently manages the country’s newest accommodation – Commodore Suites, located at the entrance to Pelican.
Prior to her current post, Chun was involved in a number of projects related to marketing consulting, sales, product development, public relations, human resources, training, product development, business development, extensive market research.
Chun also had a stint as director of St. Maarten Tourism Bureau (2011-2012) and was Oyster Bay Beach Resort’s Director of Operations (1999 – 2002).
She has served as second vice president of the executive Board of St. Maarten Hospitality and Trade Association (SHTA) from 2009 – 2011 and as a board member from 1999 – 2009.
Chun is the co-founder of the St. Maarten/St. Martin Annual Regional Tradeshow (SMART) and of the annual SHTA Crystal Pineapple Awards that recognizes excellence in the tourism, hospitality and trade sectors.