Willemstad, March 30, 2020 – On March 27, Curaçao Hospitality and Tourism Association (CHATA) held its first ever virtual Annual General Member Meeting (AGM), where it elected its new board of directors. A total of 6 candidates were vying for the 5 vacant positions on the board.
Every year during AGM the members have the opportunity to elect members for the Board of Directors. Members elected 5 new board members, 4 members who represent an accommodation and 1 allied member. This year the CHATA Members nominated the following candidates to partake in the upcoming board election. The accommodation candidates running for the board are: Frank Holstag (Dreams Preferred Club Curaçao), Maylin Trenidad (Renaissance Curaçao Resort & Casino), Ricardo Esteban (Dreams Curaçao Resort, Spa & Casino) and Rob de Bekker (Santa Barbara Beach & Golf Resort). The allied candidates running for the board are Jerry van Gijn (Maduro & Curiel’s Bank N.V.) and Mark Verburg (FBTT Travel B.V. & Taber Tours).
After counting the votes to see who will be the new CHATA board member, it was concluded that Jerry van Gijn was reelected with a winning vote of 315 to represent the allied member. As for the accommodations members, Frank Holstag, Maylin Trenidad and Ricardo Esteban were also reelected, however, the board now welcomes Rob de Bekker as a new member of the CHATA board.
Together with the current CHATA board members, Hans Slier (Papagayo Curaçao), Frank Holtslag (Dreams Preferred Club Curaçao), Ricardo Esteban (Dreams Curaçao Resort Spa & Casino), Maylin Trenidad (Renaissance Curaçao Resort & Casino), Omar van der Dijs (Licores Maduro), Peggy Croes (Curaçao Airport Partners), Robbin Vogels (Avila Beach Hotel), Liselotte Bos (Oasis Coral Estate), Alette Borger (Dolphin Suites), Jerry van Gijn (MCB), and new member, Rob de Bekker, CHATA once more has a board consisting of 11 members. CHATA also thanked the outgoing Board member, Mr. Oliver Zahn from (Baoase Luxury Resort) for his dedication and contribution to CHATA in the last year.Miles Mercera, President & CEO of CHATA, provided the attendees who joined virtually with a quick update on the state of the industry. The sector is currently facing its biggest challenge that is threatening to jeopardize the future growth of tourism if not addressed accordingly. The challenges are not only affecting our island, but the world in general, COVID-19 has brought our island into unchartered territory, however as the hospitality and tourism association, CHATA is doing all that it can to collaborate with the Government to reach a level of understanding. CHATA had also been gathering information regarding employment impact, in order to make the proper analysis as well as providing their members with information through webinars regarding Employment Measures, Tax Measures, Insurance and Marketing Strategy. After giving a brief update regarding the COVID-19 developments, Mr. Mercera provided the CHATA Projections, which included how COVID-19 will affect our industry. He continued to mention that a travel hold of 3 – 4 months is expected and that the island could be facing a 6 – 18 month recovery period at best.
CHATA has also highlighted its biggest challenges at the beginning of the year, which were developments in the areas of its Advocacy such as the realization of the CTA, Tax Reform changes, the status of the implementation of a Level Playing Field and many more.
At the end of the session the chairman of the CHATA Board, Mr. Hans Slier, took the time to provide the virtual audience with CHATA’s outlook for 2020. 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. However, with the COVID-19 pandemic that the world is facing, it is important to stick together and get through this hardship in order to come out stronger together. 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 surpass the COVID-19 pandemic and to guarantee a bright future for Tourism.