Willemstad, July 9th, 2018- CHATA has taken note of the situation that took place in Pietermaai District recently where several establishments have been notified by the authorities that effective immediately they are not allowed to continue to provide live music at their establishment since they do not have the required permits to do so according to the local authorities.
CHATA strongly believes that all business should attain the required licenses and permits in order to legally operate on Curaçao. However, the association is concerned and regrets the way the situation has been handled up till now. All parties involved should be aware of the implications of such drastic actions or measures on the perception and experience of our visitors. Simply prohibiting the establishments from providing live music and any other type of service in general will negatively impact our tourism industry and many businesses in the Pietermaai and all other tourism related areas. These areas such as Pietermaai are heavily visited by locals and tourist alike and are considered key for our tourism product.
We need to understand that if the aim of us is to grow our tourism industry we should properly assess the ways we handle with these situations with regards to timing, flexibility and mutual respect.
CHATA has been informed that the establishments are more than willing to collaborate with the authorities and would like to obtain the necessary permits to be able to operate. We also took note that there are discrepancies between different government organizations on how the required license can and should be interpreted.
CHATA advocates for a collaborative process where transparency on what is required is adhered to and where business owners of HORECA establishments work closely together with the relevant authorities to come to a solution on the short term that is in compliance with our local legislation that is beneficial to all parties involved.