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CHATA elects new board of directors 2022

and celebrates 55th anniversary.

WILLEMSTAD- 11 April, 2022 – Last Friday, the Curaçao Hospitality and Tourism Association (CHATA) held its annual general meeting (AGM), where members of the association voted for new board of director members. The meeting took place at CHATA member Avila Beach Hotel, at the Octagon Plaza, and a total of 3 candidates were positioned for the 2 available seats in the board.


Every year during the AGM the association members get the opportunity to elect members for the Board of Directors. This year members voted for 2 vacant positions in the Board of Directors, both representing the accommodation sector. The accommodation candidates running for the board elections were: Arriën Lekkerkerker (Villa Tokara), Jaime Osma (Kontiki Beach Resort Curaçao) and Maylin Trenidad (Renaissance Wind Creek Curaçao Resort). After counting the votes, the new CHATA board members resulted to be Jaime Osma (Kontiki Beach Resort Curaçao) and Maylin Trenidad (Renaissance Wind Creek Curaçao Resort).

Together with the current CHATA board members, Hans Slier (Papagayo Curaçao), Mark Nooren (Curaçao Marriot Beach Resort), Omar van der Dijs (Licores Maduro), Peggy Croes (Curaçao Airport Partners), Robbin Vogels (Avila Beach Hotel), Edward Suares (Corendon Hotels & Resorts (Livingstone), Mimi Luttge (LionsDive Beach Resort), Rick van der Pluijm (TUI) and Rolf Sprecher (Lionstone Development), CHATA once more has a board of directors consisting of 11 members. CHATA also thanked the outgoing board member, Arriën Lekkerkerker, for his dedication and contribution to CHATA in the last year.


Mrs. Maria-Helena Seferina-Rojas, Managing Director of CHATA, gave a presentation to the members and highlighted the association’s focus and achievements in 2021, such as the travel code yellow in the Netherlands, collaborations with MEO, advocacy efforts for a Level Playing Field, workforce challenges and government aid programs. In 2022 CHATA will continue to be the voice of the sector and focus on advocacy efforts and lobbying for the workforce, product and destination development, air service, and supporting destination marketing. Furthermore, Mrs. Seferina-Rojas gave an update on the state of the industry, emphasizing the sector recovery. Room inventory will grow with 33% in 2022 and double in the next 3 years, bringing back the sector’s confidence. Mrs. Seferina-Rojas emphasized on the work to be done to overcome the workforce challenges. “This is by far the biggest challenge the sector faces at this moment. CHATA is laser-focused to invest in people with training and education and attract new tourism workers, to give them an income to provide for their families”.

Secondly, the CHATA Chairman, Mr. Hans Slier, gave his final remarks on 2021. “The tourism sector demonstrated to be resilient and Curaçao is undoubtedly dependent on tourism”, according to Mr. Slier. However, we must invest and dedicate more towards laws and regulations, education, and our own mindset to ensure a sustainable growth benefitting the entire country. With a shrinking and aging population and a growing tourism with e.g., 30% increase in room inventory, the industry workforce challenges are an inevitable reality. For this reason, Mr. Slier, emphasized the importance to invest in training and education, improving the industry image and growing the population through a combination of adjusting labor laws and regulations and opening the market.

Hereafter, Mrs. Wichita Villacres from ECO Destination Management Services, gave a presentation on the resilience of tourism. She shared that current international travel provides a unique opportunity to rethink tourism and propose alternative sustainable and resilient models. This is essential for the post-pandemic recovery, as tourism is a powerful driver of sustainable development, intercultural dialogue, and mutual understanding. Tourism should be in harmony with the environment, promote the safeguarding of cultural and natural heritage, protect livelihoods, and benefit local communities.

Celebration 55th anniversary

After the official meeting, the night continued in a festive atmosphere where the association celebrated its 55th anniversary together with its members and partners. The celebration started with a ceremony where Mrs. Seferina-Rojas thanked the members for their trust and commitment throughout 55 years. The Deputy Minister, Mrs. Ruthmilda Larmonie-Cecila, gave a brief speech about her future dream for Curaçao. Followed by the Minister of Economic Development, Mr. Ruisandro Cijntje, who also spoke about the importance of tourism and the role of an association such as CHATA. During this special evening, CHATA recognized the longest members with a “CHATA Loyalty Award”:

  1. Avila Beach Hotel
  2. Lionstone Development (Dreams Curaçao Resort, Spa & Casino, Sunscape Curaçao Resort, Spa & Casino and Zoëtry Curaçao, Resort & Spa)
  3. Trupial Inn.

CHATA also awarded the “Star of the year 2021” who are supervisors and employees who stood out with their performance and tireless work.

  • Supervisor of the Year 2021: Karuna Specht
  • Employee of the Year 2021: Rita Jansen

Additionally, CHATA awarded an “Ambassador of the year” as the 2021 sector ambassador.

  • Ambassador of the Year 2021: Quintin Mercelina

Finally, CHATA gave recognition and eulogy to all ex-directors and CEO’s who were committed and guided the association with great ambition and success throughout 55 years, Mr. Don Werdekker, Mrs. Lizanne Dindial and Mr. Miles Mercera. Members enjoyed a beautiful firework show and celebrated together accompanied by good music.

A special thank you goes to all sponsors who helped make this event possible: Papagayo Curaçao, Caribbean Airlines, Sarpa Airlines, Serena’s Art Factory and Heroudini Fireworks.

CHATA thanks its members for 55 years of supporting the association and the sector. It is important to keep focusing on the recovery of our sector and economy in general. CHATA commits to raising community’s spirits and bringing tourism and the community closer to each other. Emphasizing the indispensable value of the community to the tourism and hospitality sector, in 2022:

CHATA – Connecting tourism with YOU.

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