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2019 Stands for Growth in the Tourism Sector: CHATA Organizes fourth membership meeting in 2019

Willemstad, November 20, 2019 – On Wednesday, November 20, 2019, CHATA organized the fourth and also the last membership meeting of 2019. The meeting took place at the Curaçao Marriott Beach Resort in Piscadera, which recently reopened its doors. CHATA organizes a quarterly meeting for its members so that they can receive additional information on various tourist topics and also have the opportunity to network with others. The following persons were also present at this meeting: Minister of General Affairs and Prime Minister Eugene Rhuggenaath, Emile Gourieux from STR, Richard van Ginkel and Babette Luijten from Ripple, Gofrie van Lieshout, representative of the “Ready for Tourism” project, Anushka Cova from the Investment Team, Roy Jansen from Grant Thornton and Rob Vazquez, representative of Clarium Managed Services. During this well-attended morning, interesting themes concerning the growth of the Curaçao tourism sector were discussed.

Minister of General Affairs and Prime Minister Eugene Rhuggenaath: “The tourism sector must remain consistent”                                                                                   Despite the fact that Curaçao is experiencing growth in the tourism sector, it is important to consider potential pitfalls. The growth of our tourism sector must remain consistent and strong. Regarding the development of the Growth Strategy, CHATA, CTB and Ministry of Economic Development must work together to realize this goal. Mr Ruggenaath also indicated that there is currently an improvement in the application of permits in the tourism sector. An example is the licensing process that previously consisted of 11 permits. Currently, the restaurant industry only needs 4.

Miles Mercera, CEO of CHATA: “We need to work together to expand our tourism industry”                                                                                                                           As far as CHATA is concerned, Miles Mercera has demonstrated that the organization has a good relationship with the government. Various projects have recently been launched by CHATA with the help of various ministries with the aim of supporting our tourism sector. In addition to the “Ready for Tourism” project, CHATA, together with the government, has launched “Project Turi” to make it compulsory for people who rent accommodations to register their businesses.

Emile Gourieux of STR: “2019 was the best year for Curaçao in terms of tourism”
With interesting graphs, Emile Gouriex has indicated that Curaçao has experienced a positive development in terms of tourism in the last two years. The year 2019 has been the best year so far, with the highest growth ever in the tourism industry.

Anushka Cova from the Investment Team: “There is a positive investment climate on the island”                                                                                                                  Regarding tourism investments, Anushka Cova has indicated that there will be a huge growth in the local hotel sector between 2019 and 2023. Santa Martha, The Shore, Corendon, Marriott Courtyard, Chogogo, Renaissance, Ritz Village, Dreams, Grand View, Brion City, The Wharf, Majestic Hotel and also Marriott Autograph are cited as examples.

Richard van Ginkel and Babette Luijten from Ripple: “Curaçao must be recognized as a sustainable island”                                                                                                                         In addition to the growth in the tourism sector, it is important to consider the sustainability of our island. Ripple wants to inspire the population and create awareness around this theme. Richard and Babette will achieve this by both implementing their own projects and by promoting other sustainable initiatives already taking place on Curaçao. 

Gofrie van Lieshout,  “Ready for Tourism”:  Saturday November 23, 2019                        CHATA, in collaboration with the Ministry of Economic Development (MEO) and the Ministry of Social Development, Labour and Welfare (SOAW), announced the introduction of the project “Ready For Tourism”. This project is part of the Growth Strategy for Curaçao and gives the opportunity to 300 citizens to obtain adequate training and job security in the tourism industry. People who are interested in becoming part of this project and obtaining a job in tourism, can visit Marnix College Cas Cora on Saturday November 23rd at 9 AM till 5 PM.

Rob Vazquez, representative of Clarium Managed Services: “good cyber security strategy is desperately needed”                                                                                       Rob Vazquez gave a presentation on cyber attacks that are currently common in the Caribbean, especially in the hospitality sector. Clarium Managed Services provides its customers with a good service, whereby they can enjoy a cyber program and security strategy at a high level.

Roy Jansen, Director Advisory at Grant Thornton
After these interesting presentations, Roy Jansen from Grant Thornton gave a workshop focusing on leadership and team development while CHATA members enjoyed a lunch break sponsored by Grant Thornton.

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