CHATA was joined by its membership yesterday to toast to the new year. The event was held at CHATA Member, Chill bar by LionsDive Beach Resort Curaçao and was well visited including, Minister Cijntje, Ramon Chong, KHN, KvK, CTB, and UoC.
The evening was filled with laughter, catch up and most importantly, connection. CHATA is always happy to give its membership the opportunity to connect and get to know each other better. The Chairperson of the board, Mimi Luttge, gave a welcoming speech, highlighting the past success Curaçao has endured. Starting with announcing the final stayover tourists for 2023 which resulted in a 19% growth compared to 2022. CTB reported that over 580,000 tourists visited Curaçao in 2023 and in December there was an 41% increase in tourists.
Along with more tourists, comes more airlift. There was an increase in flights from the US, Belo Horizonte started in June and additional airlift was received from Amsterdam with Corendon, and many more. “Looking forward, we see continued growth in hotel inventory in 2024, 2025 and beyond. Retention of the added airlift is therefore a top priority, while working on attracting more flights for 2025 when larger development projects are scheduled to open”, Mrs. Luttge said, “We need to offer our visitors a unique and authentic experience. Tourism is booming and a driving force of our economy. With the diverse offerings of Curaçao, from Airbnb to all inclusive, we can cater to a broad audience.”.
Mrs. Luttge also mentioned that CHATA sees training and education as a priority and will be offering trainings and seminars to help CHATA Members develop and grow. Highlighting that the learning hotel at Parasasa is a key development for the industry, but it is also important to focus on having flexible labor laws and regulations to benefit both the employer and the employee. “We look forward to the implementation of new policies to expand the number of taxicab and tour bus licenses to cope with the ever-increasing number of visitors. At the same time, public transportation needs to grow and modernize so employees can get to work easily, and tourists can use these facilities as well.” Mrs. Luttge continued.
Aside from this, CHATA feels it’s imperative to raise the level of awareness within the local community of the benefits of tourism. CHATA is looking forward to continuing their partnership with CTB under the MOU and build upon the first year, with an emphasis on product management and capacity control issues within the Strategic Tourism Destination Development Plan (STDDP), which expires in December 2026.
Mrs. Luttge ended the speech stating that CHATA will become more vocal in the community in representing the interest of its members and also plan to offer more education opportunities. CHATA looks forward to continuing its work with its stakeholders to form a better destination for tourists and more jobs for the island.