New developments in the spotlight
WILLEMSTAD- March 18, 2022 – Yesterday, CHATA hosted its first membership meeting of 2022, powered by CHATA Member MCB, with the goal to inform all members regarding the recent developments within the sector. The well visited membership meeting was held at CHATA Member, Renaissance Windcreek Curaçao Resort, with presentations by CHATA’s Managing Director, Mrs. Maria-Helena Seferina-Rojas, Mrs. Peggy Croes, Director of Marketing, Air Service & Development at CAP, Mrs. Yvette Schotting, Director of Sales of the Courtyard Marriott and lastly, Mr. Edward Suares, Director of Public Affairs of Corendon Hotels & Resorts in Curaçao.
To start off the meeting, Mrs. Seferina-Rojas welcomed all members and introduced the guest speakers along with the agenda for the morning. She discussed the recovery rate in the Caribbean, stating that this region is bouncing back quite quickly compared to other countries. Mrs. Seferina-Rojas continued by presenting Curaçao’s hotel performance figures and indicated that the ADR continues to increase compared to 2019. Furthermore, she emphasized that in January, Curaçao was number 2 on the list with the highest occupancy rates in the Caribbean region. “Despite the fact that it feels like we are nearing the end of the pandemic, unfortunately, the situation of Russia and Ukraine, makes these times still unpredictable”, according to CHATA’s Managing Director, Mrs. Maria-Helena Seferina-Rojas. Consequently, this makes the future in general, for all of us, including the tourism sector still difficult to predict. However, CHATA remains cautiously positive and focusses on the new developments in Curaçao, which reflect the trust investors have in our island and our tourism product.
Mrs. Peggy Croes, on behalf of Curaçao Airport Partners, shared during her presentation that due to Omicron, passenger demand continued to recover slowly end of 2021. She shared that air traffic movement recovery was at 72% compared to 2019 and seat capacity recovery was at 62% compared to 2019. “Two years into the pandemic proved that the outcomes from uncertainties can sometimes be better than feared. However, the longer populations and businesses around the world are forced to live with higher costs and less money in their pockets, the closer the airline industry gets to the tipping point where travel demand will be affected. Especially leisure travel”, according to Mrs. Peggy Croes. Briefly touching the subject of the effects of the war in Ukraine, she mentioned the rippling effect this may have on airlift. Depending on the duration, effects can be seen in the second semester of 2022 and /or first semester of 2023. Closing her presentation on a positive note, she spoke about the opportunities for summer 2022, e.g., Curaçao being a test free, mask free and care-free destination. Additionally, CAP is cautiously optimistic, as the number of airlift seats has increased with 126% compared to 2019 and room inventory is growing with 30%, concluding in strong hotel room bookings for the summer.
Furthermore, Mrs. Yvette Schotting of the Courtyard by Marriott walked the members through the developing hotel with beautiful images of the property and highlighted a portfolio summary of the mother company who manages 536 branded properties around the world, e.g. Marriott, Wyndham, Hilton and IHG. The Courtyard by Marriott Curaçao and Mega Pier Plaza project consists of the development of 152 rooms and suites hotel and a commercial plaza in the Rif area of Otrobanda. The hotel will feature the brand’s new lobby and synergy rooms design aimed towards creating a comfortable, yet modern and unique, place to stay while on vacation or business. The Mega Pier Plaza will feature entertainment and retail areas geared towards blending the innovativeness of the hotel with the local atmosphere, as well as a casino with first class slot machines and games. Construction started officially on 29 of September 2020 and is expected to be finalized by October 2022. The hotel will employ approximately 75 people, however, the commercial activities generated through the Courtyard by Marriott Curaçao hotel and Mega Pier Plaza will generate approximately 275 new jobs in the tourism sector.
The last presentation was given by Mr. Edward Suares of Corendon hotels, who gave an update on the second phase of the construction at Mangrove Beach Corendon Curaçao All-inclusive Resort. He started his presentation by sharing the story of the owner of the property and how he started as an entrepreneur at the age of 22. From then on, looking at every obstacle as an opportunity, he expended his business into the success it is today.
Mr. Suares continued sharing new additions that will be added in the second phase of the hotel. The second phase will cater to adults only and will feature 311 rooms of which 12 junior suites, as well as a VIP check-in. Additionally, they will have 1000m2 meeting facilities, a state-of-the-art gym, a parking garage with a capacity for 360 cars, and the ‘Mondi’ beach club, which will also be open to the public, as well as guests from other hotels in the area. The beach club and the parking garage are scheduled to be ready as of November of this year and the second phase of the hotel is scheduled to be operational in December 2023.
Once all the presentations were given, Mrs. Seferina-Rojas concluded the meeting and thanked all members for joining. CHATA will continue to update its members on the recent developments and looks forward to continue working together with all parties to achieve our goals, continue to recover the sector and to connect tourism with the community.