Business View Caribbean | April 2019

64 BUSINESS VIEW CARIBBEAN APRIL 2019 PORT ST. MAARTEN GROUP OF COMPANIES READY TO KEEP ON CRUISIN’ W ho would have guessed, in the mid- 1950s, that St. Maarten – boasting only the five-room Seaview Hotel, three-room Passangrahan Royal Inn, and 24-room Little Bay Beach Hotel for accommodation – would evolve into a vacation paradise for millions of cruise passengers every year? Mr. A. C. (Claude) Wathey did. Even back then, he saw the untapped potential of St. Maarten as a tourist mecca and joined with other influential public and private leaders to make it so. Fast forward to 2019: The Port St. Maarten Group of Companies is at the helm, steering a strong and steady course of economic growth and letting visitors know St. Maarten is “ready to keep on cruisin’.” The country of St. Maarten, represented by the Minister of Tourism and Economic Affairs, is the sole shareholder in the Port St. Maarten Group of Companies. Ton van Kooten, Managing Director of the Group,