The Government of St. Maarten reports that Hurricane Omar, a Category Three storm when it passed St. Maarten in the early morning hours of Thursday, October 16, 2008, did not result in any deaths or significant damages to its infrastructure or hotel sector. The Government of St. Maarten also reports that hotels are fully operational and functioning normally, as well as are the established tourist sites, attractions and restaurants.

While most of the damage appears to be limited to beach erosion and scattered debris that are associated with a storm of this caliber, it is anticipated that within the next 12 hours all public utilities, including electricity, which experience scattered outages during the storm, will be fully functional. The Princess Juliana International Airport is expected to open the morning of October 17th and will resume operating on a normal schedule, as will banks, financial institutions, supermarkets, hospitals, pharmacies, and other businesses.

“We are very thankful that our beautiful island only sustained minor damages and that our residents and guests weathered the storm safely,” commented Roy Marlin, Commissioner of Tourism. “Currently, we are working to conduct a thorough inspection of all the resorts, hotels and other infrastructure facilities to ensure public safety. We are confident that following this comprehensive inspection that St. Maarten’s tourism product will sustain its high quality and character into the upcoming high season.”