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CHATA’s aim is to introduce “Tourism as part of our curriculum in our educational system”

On Thursday November 23rd, CHATA hosted its first Tourism Lab sponsored by MCB at CHATA member Hilton Curaçao. Mrs. Maghalie van der Bunt George, General Director of VPCO provided an interactive workshop on how to incorporate tourism within our school curriculum.

The goal of the meeting was to develop concrete ideas which can be implemented by the private sector in partnership with different school boards and the Ministry of Education, Science, Culture and Sports.  According to Miles Mercera President & CEO of CHATA “We have selected this lab analogy, as similar to a Google creative lab where experts are put together to explore a non-traditional concept and discover a new way of thinking and execute creatively. The input today was both inspiring and game changing as our focus should be on the development of the right mindset and attitude of our youngsters and tourism as part of our curriculum at schools should and will be our priority for 2018.’’

Throughout this year CHATA has been voicing its concerns regarding several matters within the tourism industry that need urgent attention such as the restructuring of CTDF and a CEO for CTB. However, sustainable tourism development is dependent on many components both within and outside of the tourism sector. One of which is a broad understanding within the whole community of the benefits and opportunities tourism holds as well as an overall appreciation of the sector by all generations. The only way by which this can be achieved is through the introduction of tourism to our local population at an early age, through the educational system. For this reason, CHATA invited several key stakeholders such as the Minister of Education, Science, Culture and Sports Mrs. Alcalá-Wallé, representatives of the Ministry, representatives of RKCS, DOS and professionals of the private sector to discuss and elaborate on concrete ideas in order to introduce tourism into our schools.

The attendees all agreed that it is of utmost importance to incorporate tourism within our educational system. Students are not well acquainted with what tourism entails and are often misinformed about the range of opportunities that the sector provides. Another important issue that was raised is that there is a lack of communication between the sector and the educational system creating misalignment in what the sector needs and what the schools are providing to the workforce. A solution for the aforementioned can only be found if the private sector, the government and the different school boards work closely together by sharing knowledge and resources according to Mrs. Maghalie van der Bunt George.

 Edward Suares, Chairman of CHATA also stressed on the importance of collaboration with stakeholders across the different sectors. “The only way forward is #Huntu. The success of our sector is not only determined by stakeholders within the industry but rather the entire community. Therefore, we as an association are meeting with stakeholders across the board to receive their input and discuss priorities for the upcoming year”.

CHATA will continue its efforts to involve all relevant stakeholders in development of the tourism industry and will organize similar sessions to explore new and out of the box ideas to further grow our tourism product.

CHATA reminisces on yet another successful and informative meeting and extends its gratitude to its member and partner Maduro & Curiel’s Bank for sponsorship of this well attended Tourism Lab at Hilton Curaçao. In partnership we move forward towards achieving a vibrant and sustainable tourism product.

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