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CHATA elects new board of directors

Willemstad, April 9th 2018 – On April 9th, Curaçao Hospitality and Tourism Association (CHATA) held its Annual General Member Meeting (AGM) at Avila Beach Hotel, where it elected its new board of directors.  A total of 10 candidates were vying for the 7 vacant positions on the board.  In addition to this CHATA also invited the Minister of Economic Development Dr. Steven Martina to elaborate on his economic recovery plan for 2018 as well as Mr.  Leithland Thomas from Ledgly who elaborated on the opportunities of Blockchain and the hospitality industry.

Every year during AGM the members have the opportunity to elect members for the Board of Directors. Members elected 7 new board members, 6 members who represent an accommodation and 1 allied member.

New CHATA Board Members 2018 Number of Votes
 Maylin Trenidad (Renaissance Curaçao Resort & Casino) 428
 Stephane Clar (Hilton) 425
 Alette Borger (Dolphin Suites) 405
 Oliver Zahn (Baoase Luxury Resort) 398
 Frank Holtslag (Floris Suite Hotel & Spa) 372
 Julian Castañeda (Sunscape Curaçao Resort Spa & Casino) 345
Jerry van Gijn (Maduro & Curiel’s Bank) 215


Together with the current CHATA board members, Peggy Croes (CAP), Omar van der Dijs (Licores Maduro), Hans Slier (Papagyo Hotel) and Robbin Vogels (Avila Beach Hotel), CHATA once more has a board consisting of 11 members. CHATA also thanked the outgoing Board members, Mr. Edward Suares, Mr. Sander Winterberg and Jeroen Kibbelaar for their amazing job in the last year.

Miles Mercera, President & CEO of CHATA provided the attendees with a quick update on the state of the industry. The sector is registering a slight increase in tourist arrivals especially from the US, Colombia and the Netherlands. Hotels are finally registering an increase in the average room rate per night (ADR). In addition to this, Miles Mercera also stressed on the importance of investing in our future generation. In order to sustainably grow our tourism industry, we have to properly prepare our youth for a career in hospitality.

Furthermore, Dr. Steven Martina shared his economic recovery plan with the sector.  According to Dr. Steven Martina Curaçao is faced with many challenges that negatively impacts our economy.  In order to turn this situation around and spur economic growth it is imperative to accelerate public and private investments. The Minister provided a comprehensive list of many interesting opportunities for the sector.

CHATA also took the liberty of inviting an international guest speaker to the event so that the sector can keep up to date with current trends. When talking about tourism it is always important to be one step ahead of the rest. And with this in mind CHATA decided to also invite Mr. Leithland Thomas, Chief Technology Officer of Ledgly, to inform all attendees about the new phenomenon which is Blockchain. Living in a digital era it is essential for a company to create a safe and close relationship with its customers and other partners. And with this in mind Blockchain was born. Blockchain is basically a huge network where the registration of most online procedures like cryptography and bitcoins are recorded chronically and publicly. For the tourism sector this can open various doors for Curaçao to create stronger bridges with international travel & lodging companies.

At the end of the session the outgoing chairman of the CHATA Board, Mr. Edward Suares, took the time to provide the audience with motivational and inspiring words. During his speech he urged the audience to start embracing the new trends and demands of our clients. It is about time that Curaçao starts being bolder and take risks on international platforms such as AirBnB and Uber. Mr. Edward Suares also expressed his main concern to the upcoming board which is the restructuring of CTDF. This is imperative especially for the implementation of the Tourism Master Plan. According to Mr. Suares this master plan is the golden ticket for the further development of Curaçao’s Tourism industry. Mr. Suares thanked all the members for trusting him with the position of chairman of the CHATA Board and also wished the upcoming board the best of luck with their new position.

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