Willemstad September 18, 2020 – I’ve made a bold decision today and many of you might be wondering why. I’ve taken a step back to take some time and focus my energy on the bigger picture. The bigger picture is Curaçao 🇨🇼. The past 10 years I’ve invested my heart and soul into one of the greatest industries of this island, Tourism. Yes, it is my passion, it is my foundation, and it has shaped me as a young professional.
My decision shared today comes at a point that we cannot continue to lose focus, time and energy. I understand that I’m taking a step back during one of the most difficult times in history that our industry is facing, but now is the time to take bold steps and dare to enter new avenues. I have learned in life that change starts from within but change also starts with you and me.
I was fortunate enough to be surrounded by 16.000 dreamers and doers and hard workers who have shown me the importance of standing up for what you believe in. When I started working in this industry I was 16 years old. I still remember the glory days of working as a waiter and kitchen assistant. My dream was to become a professional chef and or hotel owner. My first tip received was as a front desk clerk at the Westin Aruba and my challenges included waking up at 4 am to catch the 5 am hotel bus to work for the morning shift and learning a new language.
Today I count my blessings. I’ve been fortunate enough to meet so many talented professionals who work day and night to keep this industry alive. Stars of the industry was always my favorite moment, just because I got the chance to see the smiling faces of our fellow industry professionals.
Fact is that I believe in this country and I believe in the power of my fellow citizens.
Tourism has shaped me in ways that no textbook or theoretical class at the University could have taught me. Tourism is defined by its people, managed by its people and developed by its people. This is exactly the ingredient that I will be using in my next challenge.
My open letter today is not a goodbye letter, so please do not use the words farewell. My open letter today is the start of a new chapter which includes a new relationship between us. I’ve prepared my team to take on the roles and responsibilities accordingly and I am committed as an industry professional to support wherever I can with the organization and industry.
My biggest blessing was to be able to navigate in this industry long enough to learn the value of business ethics, transparent communication and representation of the overall majority. I’ve been through ups and down for this industry from CODE RED, where most of us stopped believing in the power of tourism, to tourism growth, where we all wanted to be in the picture of a new hotel opening, airport expansion or growth in visitor arrivals.
I’ve seen it all and I am humble enough to thank my 16.000 team members for this achievement. Tourism isn’t something that happens behind isolated doors by a small group, it involves everyone, and we must all be aligned with the right vision for the right reasons.
In the next phase of my life I will continue to be the advocate for tourism and my passion for it will be shown in everything that I do.
As I said before, this is not me saying goodbye. Believe me, I’ll be here, and you will see me around.
My decision today is to take a step back and invest my energy into something that is right, bigger than all of us and for the sole purpose of driving this country to move forward.
Miles B M Mercera
Citizen of Curaçao 🇨🇼