Willemstad (November 8, 2016) –On Tuesday, November 8, 2016, CHATA’s Board held an extraordinary board retreat. The board members discussed, strategized and shared new concepts on how to move forward.
The retreat made it clear that the goals and objectives CHATA has been advocating for have not been reached and jeopardise the further existence of the association. In 2015, the government promised that upon completion of the Tourism Master Plan, certain specific actions would be implemented to boost tourism as the main economic pillar. For CHATA the most important aspects of the tourism master plan that need to be implemented are the allocation of board seats to CHATA on the CTDF Board, the appointment of a new CEO for CTB, the reorganisation of the CTB and the destination marketing budget allocation in the main tourism markets.
The crisis in the sector is mainly due to the lack of influence CHATA has on the destination marketing by CTB and the lack of support from the Government, CHATA’s sustainability as an association is at risk of collapsing if change doesn’t happen. CHATA already received resignation of four (4) hotel members as per January 1st 2017.
CHATA realizes that these are important actions that need to be implemented in order to convince members of the association to support the development of tourism. As entrepreneurs in the private sector we believe that tourism should be taken seriously and become a priority for the government. The private sector has over USD 382 million invested in real estate (hotels) in Curacao and employs 11000 workers.
CHATA urges government to realize the actions they promised in order to convince the private sector to keep on investing in our local economy.
As Tourism is the largest contributor of our local economy representing 25% of our GDP, it is evident that a decrease in tourism growth will lead to a decrease in economic growth resulting in loss of employment on island in a fragile economy.
The frustration of the board due to many attempts in vain to facilitate the need for the implementation of the Tourism Master Plan together with the Government and CTB, has lead to the opinion of the board that actions have to be taken. The time for change is now and CHATA is plotting a different path forward.