Willemstad, November 20, 2020 – Yesterday, CHATA hosted their quarterly Membership Meeting with the goal to inform all members regarding the recent developments within the sector. The CHATA board gathered to follow the virtual meeting together, while maintain social distancing. The keynote speaker for the Membership Meeting was CEO and Director General of Caribbean Hotel & Tourism Association (CHTA), Mr. Frank Comito. CHATA’s Chairman of the Board, Mr. Hans Slier prepared a CHATA update and Area Manager of TUI Dutch Caribbean, Mr. Rick van der Pluijm also prepared a presentation on TUI on the islands.
After Mr. Slier started the morning off by welcoming everyone, Mr. van der Pluijm continued with his presentation. During his presentation, he gave a brief update on TUI’s operations in the Caribbean and how they are moving forward and dealing with the current situation. Mr. Slier continued the Membership Meeting by communicating CHATA’s most essential wishes to the CHATA members. One of the three wishes is for CTB become the CTA, Curaçao Tourism Authority. This is a project that has been on the table for 10 years with approval from all stakeholders and for that reason CHATA proposes to appoint the new board according to the CTA model. The CTA model is based on the principle that half of the board is appointed by the government and the other half by CHATA and to jointly elect an independent chairman. Another wish is to immediately introduce and enforce the ‘Level playing field’ legislation. This legislation ensures that the alternative tourist accommodations are all registered, meet the quality requirements and pay taxes. Lastly, the third wish Mr. Slier communicated was ‘fixed cost support’ for the affected business community. Since this is a very complicated topic that differs per company, CHATA proposed to subsidize the costs of Aqualectra for 50% from 1 April 2020 instead. The costs of Aqualectra form a very important part of the costs of hotel operations and are at least two to five times as expensive as in surrounding islands and countries.”These 3 points are essential to bring this hospitality industry back to previous levels and must therefore be introduced immediately as any further delay will be disastrous” according to Chairman Mr. Slier.
The final presentation was given by Mr. Frank Comito, who gave an in-depth update on the situation the Caribbean is facing regarding the current state of the economy. He also emphasized the efforts CHTA has been making in order to support the region, especially in regard to hospitality and tourism.
To close off the Membership Meeting, Mr. Slier announced the newly elected interim board member for the remainder of the board year. It was with pleasure that he announced Mr. Mark Nooren as the newly appointed interim board member, in which Mr. Nooren appeared on the screen to show his appreciation.CHATA will continue to update its members on the recent developments and looks forward to working together with all parties to achieve our goals.