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CHATA elects new board of directors

Willemstad, April 10, 2019 – On April 10, Curaçao Hospitality and Tourism Association (CHATA) held its Annual General Member Meeting (AGM) at Santa Barbara Beach & Golf Resort, where it elected its new board of directors.  A total of 9 candidates were vying for the 6 vacant positions on the board. In addition to this CHATA also invited Mr.  Craig Martin, the General Manager of The Curaçao Marriott Beach Resort to provide an update on the developments of the soon to open hotel and Mr. Rob Westerman, General Manager Mid America Andean & Dutch Antilles, Air-France – KLM to speak about the importance of Human Service in a Digital World. 

Every year during AGM the members have the opportunity to elect members for the Board of Directors. Members elected 6 new board members, 4 members who represent an accommodation and 2 allied members. 

New CHATA Board Members 2019Number of Votes 
Hans Slier (Papagayo Hotel & Resort)541
Robbin Vogels ( Avila Beach Hotel)505
Alette Borger (Dolphin Suites)440
Liselotte Bos (Oasis Parcs)328
Omar van der Dijs (Licores Maduro)448
Peggy Croes (CAP)417

Miles Mercera, President & CEO of CHATA provided the attendees with a quick update on the state of the industry. The sector is registering an increase in tourist arrivals and hotel performance. However, simultaneously the sector is also facing many challenges that threaten to jeopardize the future growth of tourism if not addressed accordingly. Issues such as the budget challenges of the government and its impact on the tourism industry, the ambiguity surrounding the local beach policy, the future of the refinery and its consequences for the local economy, Safety and Security of the destination, the rising pressure on our current transportation infrastructure and our need for qualified employees. All challenges supersede the authority and capacity of a single stakeholder. We need to come together to find a sustainable solution to the aforementioned in order to continue grow our sector. 

Together with the current CHATA board members, Frank Holtslag (Floris Suite Hotel), Julian Castañeda (Sunscape Curaçao Resort Spa & Casino), Maylin Trenidad (Renaissance Curaçao Resort & Casino), Oliver Zahn (Baoase Luxury Resort) and Jerry van Gijn (MCB) CHATA once more has a board consisting of 11 members. CHATA also thanked the outgoing Board member, Mr. Stephane Clar for his dedication and contribution to CHATA in the last year. 

Furthermore, Mr. Craig Martin, General Manager of the soon to open Curaçao Marriott Beach Resort provided an update on the developments of the hotel. Mr. Craig Martin explained that everything in the hotel has been renovated and or rebuild.  The hotel now has a modern Caribbean aesthetic, with an open lobby complete with ocean view. One of the noticeable changes to the hotel are the additional story that has been added to the building, the additional ball room and elimination of the casino. The hotel is set to be opened in September of 2019.

CHATA also invited one of its key partners to provide a presentation to its members, Mr. Rob Westerman from Air France – KLM. Mr. Westerman explained the importance of maintaining the human aspect in customer service in an increasingly digitalized world. As the wants and needs of our customers evolve, we need to remember that at the core of it all is the ability to be able to provide a memorable experience to our customers. Becoming more digitalized should therefore never be the end goal, rather it is a means to optimize the human interaction between you and your client. 

At the end of the session the outgoing chairman of the CHATA Board 18/19, Mr. Hans Slier, took the time to provide the audience with CHATA’s outlook for 2019. Qualified and well-trained employees are critical for the further sustained growth and development of the sector as they hold the potential to make or break our destinations reputation and experience of our visitors. Therefore, our human capital and proper development thereof is the key to be able to continue to build on the success of 2018 and achieve the ambitious goals we have set as a destination to grow our industry arrivals. One of CHATA’s main goals for 2019 is to find cost effective ways to invest in the development of our human capital in partnership with our members, government and key stakeholders within the sector.  Mr. Hans Slier concludes his speech by urging all stakeholders, members, our community and government officials to continue the trend of working together like we have been doing in the previous year in order to guarantee a bright future for Tourism. 

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