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CHATA organizes Health & Wellness Task Force

Proven concepts for creative wellness practice propositions

Willemstad, 25 August 2022 – Tuesday, CHATA, the association representing over 250 members in the tourism and hospitality sector, organized the first meeting for the CHATA Health & Wellness Task Force. The session took place at CHATA member, The Space Curaçao, with presentations by Mrs. Suzy Camelia-Römer and Mr. Rudolf de Wit from Kòrsou Salú, as well as international Health & Wellness Coach and Expert, Mr. Lazlo Puzcko from Health Tourism Worldwide, who visits Curacao this week and traveled all the way from Hungary, Budapest.

The morning started with a relaxing guided breathwork exercise provided by The Space Curaçao. Followed by CHATA’s Managing Director, Mrs. Maria-Helena Seferina-Rojas, who welcomed the participants, as she emphasized that Curaçao has much to offer in terms of health & wellness and that this niche market is a unique opportunity and selling point for Curaçao.

Mrs. Suzy Camelia-Römer presented a strategy to develop Curaçao as a wellness destination and started by providing an overview of the extensive global wellness market, varying from personal care & beauty to mental wellness and the various opportunities this provides. Elaborating on the strategy for the development of a wellness destination, she shared that a regulatory framework by the Government needs to be established in this regard, facilitating among others non-medical wellness practices, traditional, complementary, and integrative medicine practices based on the WHO, quality assurance wellness services, locations and wellness lifestyle real estate and economic incentives. As part of the process to define the grand strategies, a professional SWOT analysis has been done to determine the action plans to be implemented. Furthermore, she shared some critical success factors to develop Curaçao as a wellness destination, such as participants radiating a wellness lifestyle and service attitude, continuing education and training for wellness employees and a strategic alliance between stakeholders and the government.

Secondly, Mr. Rudolf de Wit spoke about the development of wellness in Curaçao, the history behind the connection with wellness, as where its seems that Curacao was given this name as the re-discoverers called the island the curing heart (Curar & Curazon) as enslaved people from Africa seemed to be cured miraculously. He also elaborated on the action plans from the strategic study done by Kòrsou Salú. He shared ten wellness trends for 2022, such as soil-bathing, digital health and the Metaverse, among others. Furthermore, he discussed various action plans for retreats by sharing some key examples here on Curaçao, varying from the herb garden of healing plants at Dinah Veeris, to cultivation and cooking of local super foods and even marine life. He finalized by stating that to prepare for the future, we must consider the post-covid reality, to boost our immune systems, detox programs, virtual reality and a Curaçao wellness app.

After a short break, during which the participants enjoyed filtered infused water and carrot health shots in the garden, the morning continued with a final presentation by Mr. Lazlo Puzcko from Health Tourism Worldwide. His inspiring presentation focused on how to think outside-in, creatively and practically to introduce accessible and feasible wellness business practices and products. Post-covid traveling has transformed and terms such as ‘revenge spending and travel’ and ‘flight shaming’ are a reality. People are experiencing health anxiety and travelers are looking for unique experiences to reduce stress and create genuine happiness, also known as ‘self-gifting’. Instead of focusing on their life span, people are now focusing on their health span and quality, creating a shift in demand and motivation regarding health tourism and services. He elaborated on the benefits of a blue ocean strategy versus a red ocean strategy and shared the various business directions when introducing a wellness product, taking the different wellness engagement levels into consideration, and stating that it is important to determine your business focus: a high number of guests or a high spending per guest. Making conscious commercial decisions is key in the development of this niche market.

Furthermore, in preparation for his visit to Curaçao, Mr. Puzcko worked closely with The Space Curaçao, on a case study, and presented the findings and conclusions during the session. He discussed the business recourses and shared concrete examples on how they can use their assets and transform them into applications and provided some tangible development considerations for the organization. Key learning here is to strategize with an outside-in approach, translating a product or service into what it delivers to the guest and if it complements and fulfills the desire of the guests for self-gifting.

The interactive session concluded with some herbal tea and healthy snacks, as the participants had the opportunity to ask questions directly related to their organizations and personally discuss business coaching opportunities with mr. Puzcko, adding value and improving their wellness products proposition. 

A special thank you to the partners who helped make this first CHATA Health & Wellness Task Force a success:Curaçao Tourist Board and The Space Curaçao.

CHATA looks forward to continue working with all partners and stakeholders and making strides forward in establishing this valuable niche market for Curaçao. For more information visit CHATA’s website

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