Willemstad – On Thursday, February 23rd 2017, CHATA held its first quarterly Membership Meeting of 2017 at the Santa Barbara Beach & Golf Resort. The member meeting is a platform where CHATA invites speakers to present on current issues of importance to the business and tourism sector. During this meeting CHATA also takes the opportunity to provide a quick update on the performance of the sector and discuss CHATA Association Matters.
The Members of CHATA were officially introduced to the new CHATA Board, where the newly elected Chairman of CHATA, Mr. Cedric Nubul of the Hilton Curaçao Hotel, gave an update on the new board structure, positions and goals for 2017. After the successful CHATA Board retreat which took place on February 20th 2017, the board agreed to update membership on the agreements made.
Key Priorities for the CHATA Board include the execution of the MOU between CTB/CHATA, Restructuring of the CTDF, Execution of the Tourism Master Plan, Airlift and Marketing. Hotel Performance forecast for 2017 will continue to feel a downward pressure which requires Actions to offset. January 2017, CHATA saw a flat occupancy level on island of 78% with a 5% increase in ADR & REVPAR.
According to Miles Mercera, (President & CEO of CHATA), The main message received from membership today was “Execution, Execution, Execution’’ of everything related to tourism. The industry will continue to have a challenging year in terms of tourism arrivals and hotel performance which is why membership requested a stronger focus on short term actions to stimulate bookings to the destination. The political/government instability also has its impact on our industry which calls on a stronger private sector engagement and participation.
During this meeting CHATA also provided an overview of its new programs and projects for 2017. One of the goals of CHATA is to increase on-island visitor spending, CHATA will be introducing a “Dine Around Program” in the 2nd Quarter of 2017, where consumers can purchase “pre-defined meal plans” to experience Curaçao’s culinary industry. The consumers/markets are demanding for an all-inclusive experience when coming to the Caribbean and this new “Dine Around Program” will be launched to satisfy this need.
One of the challenges in our industry is how our future airlift connectivity will look like, especially for the inter-island connections. Therefore, CHATA Member Insel Air was invited to share their plans and focus for 2017 for the industry to be prepared and to be able to anticipate what’s coming up next.
Edward Suares from the Curaçao Tourist Board elaborated on their strategy for 2017, forecast and new projects coming up in partnership with CHATA. The retail component of all branding efforts being executed by the Tourism Board is of importance as this will translate into actual bookings for the destination. CTB also gave an update on current challenges and how this will impact their forecast on visitor arrivals.