Philipsburg, the capital of the Dutch side, has been one of the hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. The town’s main source of income has been from the once vibrant cruise tourism industry that has been dry docked for more than a year now.
There is some light at the end of the empty cruise piers with plans for homeporting of cruise ship Celebrity Millennium at Dr. A.C. Wathey Cruise and Cargo Facility as of June 5.
In the meantime, it is residents and the trickle of stayover and timeshare visitors who are making the card machines and cash registers of businesses chiming.
Businessman and owner of Klass Electronics Ramesh Mahtani said: “We are very grateful that we have local support that keeps us going.”
He added: “Business has been very challenging due to restricted travel, both regional and international. We are hopeful that the vaccine will start to stabilize the worldwide situation. Hopefully travel and cruises pick up towards the end of year and will help revive the economy.”