Willemstad, June 30, 2023 – the Curaçao Hospitality and Tourism Association (CHATA) hosted its second quarterly membership meeting of the year with the goals of informing all members regarding the recent developments within the sector and CHATA as well as allowing members to network and participate in interesting presentations. The meeting, attended by almost 60 members, was sponsored by CHATA Member, MCB and was held at CHATA Member, Curaçao Marriott Beach Resort.
The meeting this quarter mainly focused on ‘Sustainability’ with introductions by CHATA’s Treasurer, Mrs. Mimi Luttge, and presentations by CHATA’s Interim Managing Director, Jim Hepple, Ms. Sabine Berendse, Founder of Green Phenix and Project Manager of the Klein Curaçao Project, Dr. Manfred van Veghel.
Mrs. Luttge began the morning with a warm and cheerful welcome to the attendees and reiterating the agenda, highlighting points of each presentation and introducing each presenter and their topics.
Jim Hepple, CHATA’s Interim Managing Director, was the first presenter of the morning, giving his presentation on the state of the industry, including new and upcoming developments on the island and a brief review on where Curaçao stands as a destination in comparison to other destinations and Caribbean islands. Mr. Hepple also discussed CHATA’s recent developments and our upcoming AGM meeting, which is to be held on August 24th where, among other agenda items, the members are to vote for 9 new board members.
Next, Mrs. Luttge introduced Ms. Sabine Berendse as the second speaker of the morning, presenting Green Phenix initiatives to maintain a sustainable community as well as tips for what the members can do to result in a more sustainable business. Green Phenix has been focusing a lot of their efforts on removing plastic waste from the local beaches on the northern side of the island clean. They regularly keep the area plastic and trash free while also educating the community on how they can contribute. They’ve also been attending elementary schools to educate the younger generation on the importance of contributing to the island’s sustainability and how they can carry out simple tasks at home that lead to a greener thumb. As another effort to the community, Green Phenix and its partners have also place recycling bins in certain areas on the island, mainly the Mambo area, where tourists can also participate in keeping the island clean. Ms. Berendse’s project is one of the four RESEMBID projects here on Curaçao; RESEMBID stands for Resilience, Sustainable Energy and Marine Biodiversity Program.
The last presentation of the day was given by Dr. Manfred van Veghel, who informed members about the conservation plan being developed for Klein Curaçao. The overall objective of the development plan is to preserve the ecological character of Klein Curaçao as Ramsar wetland, and how to enable wise use of sustainable development and conservation of the natural and cultural heritage. Dr. van Veghel and his team have recently launched the new logo of Klein Curaçao and had several meetings with the Ministers to put this project in motion. This project is also one of the RESEMBID projects on the island.
To close the meeting, members asked numerous questions of Dr. van Veghel regarding the future of Klein Curacao. Overall, the membership meeting was a great success, with thanks to MCB for sponsoring the meeting as well as thanks to the Curaçao Marriott Beach Resort for hosting. CHATA looks forward to continuing working together with all parties to achieve our goals.