CHATA ANNUAL REPORT
2017 - 2018
To deliver a visible, leading and
effective (marketing) contribution towards
a vibrant and sustainable Curaçao tourism
and hospitality product.
A small summary of CHATA
over the past years.
Meet the young faces
CHATA’s Strategy and
Statement and Audit Report
An overview of CHATA
Achievements in 2017.
UP CLOSE &
Get to know CHATA’s
Chairman and past
Get to know the CHATA
Board and its role.
A look back at our Stars of
2017 Arrivals and Hotel
Achievements of the
Tourism Industry in 2017.
Our Top 5 reasons to
become a CHATA Member.
In 2016, CHATA wiped the slate clean, making room for new opportunities in 2017. CHATA kicked
of the year with a new board structure and a new CEO. CHATA was more focused and vocal than
ever before. The board together with the CEO set its priorities at the start of the year and took
every opportunity to work closely together with the government and the Curaçao Tourist Board to
achieve its goals.
The board focused its efforts on the improvement of our tourism performance, increased
synergy between the tourist board and the private sector and the industries conditions of doing
business. Its efforts started to pay off and CHATA achieved stronger collaboration with CTB
and is now represented in the advisory board of CTDF. In addition to this, CHATA also achieved
that the government instated a level playing field committee in which the Ministry of Economic
Development, the Ministry of Finance, CTB and CHATA discuss and come up with suggestions
for the realization of level playing field in which all apartments, car rentals etc. comply with their
responsibilities of paying taxes. Furthermore, CHATA was also more vocal on issues regarding the
inclusion of our tourism in our education system and the role of the financial sector in the further
development of our tourism.
In 2017, CHATA also celebrated its 50 th anniversary together with its members. CHATA took
the opportunity, once again, to remind the community through an awareness campaign of the
importance of our sector and the necessary changes that are needed in order for the industry to
Despite our best efforts and optimistic forecasts at the start of 2017, our tourism sector did not
perform as expected. Tourist arrivals showed a decline and hotel performance and revenue per
available room did not grow according to expectations. This was partially due to a further decline
in Venezuelan tourists because of the unstable political situation in the country as well as the
cancelation of various routes of InselAir, due to the financial troubles it was facing at that time.
Furthermore, the Caribbean was also struck by 2 devastating hurricanes which lead tourists to
cancel or postpone their vacation to the Caribbean and Curaçao.
It is times like these that reminds us why it is so important for the industry to continue to strive
for increased collaboration with CTB and the government and formalization of our partnership
through representation of the private sector on the Board of the CTDF and a strong leader for
CTB. Once we achieve this, the industry will be better equipped to anticipate possible threats and
rapidly respond to changes in our environment. CHATA looks forward to increased collaboration
and commitment from all stakeholders within our community to realize change and growth.
MEET THE BOARD
OF DIRECTORS 2018
Miles Mercera- President & CEO
Hans Slier - Chairman
Omar van der Dijs - Vice Chairman
Maylin Trenidad - Secretary
Resort & Casino
Robbin Vogels - Treasurer
Avila Beach Hotel
Dolphin Suites Curaçao
Floris Suite Hotel
Sunscape Curaçao Resort, Spa
Baoase Luxury Resort
Curaçao Airport Partners
Jerry van Gijn
Maduro & Curiel’s Bank
MEET THE BOARD
OF DIRECTORS 2017
Miles Mercera- President & CEO
Cedric Nubul - Chairman
January 2017 - August 2017
Edward Suares - Chairman
Lions Dive Beach Resort
October 2017 - March 2018
Omar van der Dijs - Vice Chairman
Jeroen Kibbelaar - Treasurer
Impacto BV & Securitas BV
Dolphin Suites Curaçao
Floris Suite Hotel
Resort & Casino
Baoase Luxury Resort
Curaçao Airport Partners
Avila Beach Hotel
Livingstone Jan Thiel Resort
On October 6th, CHATA held an Interim Board Election due to 2 available board positions on the CHATA
board. Previous CHATA Chairman, Cedric Nubul (Hilton Curaçao) and Board member Jorge Espejo (Sunscape
Resort, Spa & Casino) both stepped down. Alette Borger and Edward Suares joined the board as directors.
THE ROLE OF OUR BOARD
CHATA’s Board currently consists of 11 fiduciaries
representing 11 parties holding a CHATA
membership. Board members are competent
representatives of the CHATA members and
are elected every 2 years to ensure that CHATA
members are provided equal opportunity to have
supervision and say in CHATA operations. Board
members vacate their positions by rotation of 2
years, the current Board of Directors consists of a
group of Board members that have been elected
CHATA’s board, in conjunction with CHATA’s
President & CEO, steer the association towards
success by ensuring proper governance and by
adopting and ensuring adherence to financial
management policies. CHATA’s board has a dual
mandate;The Board provides advice, guidance
and moreover functions as a supervisory entity
monitoring the association’s performance,
enacting upon points of attention should this be
As we are progressing into the 21st century, CHATA
has understood and wholeheartedly embraced the
good governance principle. The Board of Directors
ensures that CHATA embraces good governance in
its day-to-day operations by ensuring accountability,
transparency and equitability.
MEET THE TEAM
Miles M B Mercera
President & CEO
As the President & CEO, Mr. Mercera reports to the CHATA Board of
Directors and oversees CHATA’s day-to-day operations and steers the
association in the right direction. Furthermore, Mr. Mercera engages
in international relations and is responsible for lobbying with the
government and other stakeholders on behalf of the private sector. In
addition to this, Mr. Mercera is also the spokesperson on behalf of the
Curaçao Hospitality & Tourism Association.
Marketing & Product Manager
Ms. Henriquez is the CTB Marketing Liaison for all markets. Additionally,
she also develops and maintains partnerships with stakeholders in the
private and public sector with the aim of achieving a more integrated
and innovative tourism development approach. Furthermore, she is in
charge of product development, CHATA’s Communication Strategy and
is responsible for Press Releases and Tourism Awareness Programs.
Selina Maduro - Gumbs
Marketing & Corporate Events Senior Executive
Mrs. Maduro-Gumbs is in charge of all CHATA events, implying the
proposal, organization, execution and review of the events while
simultaneously ensuring the retention of existent CHATA members
through member specific program development. Mrs. Maduro-Gumbs,
furthermore, specializes in the South American & Caribbean Market
and holds the responsibility to ensure successful engagement in these
Marketing & Research Executive
Ms. Liendo is in charge of managing CHATA’s websites and social
media pages, and is the in-house creative designer. In addition to
this, is in charge of CHATA’s research and data collection. Ms. Liendo
is the contact for the Curaçao Dive Task Force and manages all their
marketing efforts. Ms. Liendo, furthermore, specializes in the European
market and holds the responsibility to ensure successful engagement
in this market.
CHATA is a dynamic association and incorporates
its dynamics into its membership benefits. CHATA
communicates latest developments that are beneficial
information or can affect CHATA Members in any way
through several mediums. CHATA communicates through
its monthly Newsletter, frequent Newsflashes, Alerts on
situations requiring precautions, and annual Hurricane
Preparedness Kit. CHATA also focuses on keeping members
informed on latest trends. CHATA gives members the
opportunity to showcase their product through the
quarterly Product Update.These mediums serve to keep
our members informed through digital communication,
CHATA also has numerous interactions with its members
to accentuate the benefits of a CHATA membership.
CHATA organizes a minimum of 3 Membership Meetings and
Marketing Task Force meetings annually, in which members can
express their concerns, provide feedback and brainstorm together
with CHATA and the Curaçao Tourist Board on potential solutions
to points of attention. In addition to the Membership meetings
and Marketing Task Forces, CHATA also gathers key influencers in
many of its Breakfast Meetings and Lab Sessions, in which subjects
of importance to the sector are discussed in depth with key private
and public-sector partners. In order to tackle challenges, CHATA
has several Task Forces in place acting as troubleshooters that
advocate points of particular interest. CHATA also realizes that
members require attention individually, and therefore regularly
schedules CHATA Meets sessions, where the CEO of CHATA meets
one on one with its members to provide a keen and listening ear and
recognition of the members. concerns while jointly brainstorming
and, if necessary, working towards a solution.
STRATEGY & FOCUS
Destination & Product Marketing
Ensure that Curaçao and its products are adequately promoted by influencing the
marketing strategy set by CTB through active collaboration between both
organizations. Pro-actively initiate marketing activities for the sector.
Air Service – Retention & Growth
CHATA to secure growth mainly for the North American Market and secondly for
the South American Market and retain airlift from Europe by working closely with
all existing airlines and actively search for new carriers together with CTB and
Curaçao Airport Partners/Curaçao Airport Holding.
Product & Human Resources Development
Create value for all members by providing a platform for collaboration and
innovation within the sector. Supporting growth and product development of
members by being a source of quality industry information and analysis. Support
all Safety & Security efforts and cleanliness projects. Identify industry educational
and training needs and set a strategy together with members to cope with the
Advocacy & Lobbying on behalf of the Sector
Working together is a must, on all fronts. CHATA to actively remind government,
CTB and others on the importance of aligning our efforts and jointly invest in the
markets. In addition to this CHATA also makes sure that important issues that affect
the tourism industry are addressed by the government and relevant stakeholders.
Communication (Voice of the Sector)
CHATA to increase its visibility and recognition as the tourism expert by becoming
more vocal and active.
Stars of the Industry Q1 - 2017 at Scuba Lodge
Marketing, Communications & Events Intern at CHATA
Tahir is always attentive, friendly and a great addition
to the team. He always goes out of his way for his
colleagues and members
- CHATA Team
MEET OUR STARS!
Stars of the Industry Q2 - 2017 at Blue Bay
Dajanara Constancia Casimiri
Senior Cabin Attendant at Insel Air
Dajanara is very friendly and attentive. She goes out of
her way to make the flight a memorable experience for
her passengers. A true star of the industry!
- CHATA Team
Stars of the Industry Q3 - 2017 at Starbucks
Pro-Shop Supervisor at Santa Barbara Recreation
Shariselle deserves this award for her effort and
dedication. Shariselle is a great sales person which
makes her an excellent example for the rest of our
- Santa Barbara Recreation Team
Stars of the Industry Q4 - 2017 at Landhuis Bloemhof
Administrative Assistant GM/Sales at Hilton Curaçao
Lihainy is very pro-active and friendly. She continually
impresses us by the results she produces and her work
ethic speaks for itself!
- Hilton Team
Statement of Financial Position as per December 31, 2017
December 31, 2017 December 31, 2016
Cash & Cash Equivalants 185,720 103,769
Accounts Receivable 139,932 188,820
Other Receivables & Prepaid Expenses 29,510 11,680
Tangible fixed assets 19,677 24,911
Intangible fixed assets 39,412 57,761
TOTAL ASSETS 414,252 386,940
Accounts payable 6,398 25,130
Other Payables 23,244 13,755
Tax & Social Premiums 8,501 11,394
NET ASSETS 376,109 336,661
TOTAL LIABILITIES AND NET ASSETS 414,252 386,940
Statement of Comprehensive Income For the Year Ended 2017
December 31, 2017 December 31, 2016
membership Dues 749,261 760,693
Other Income 176,856 322,620
TOTAL INCOME 926,117 1,083,314
Personnel Expenses 401,352 606,285
Office Expense 62,578 58,699
Gerenal Expense 79,263 91,234
Depreciation & Amortization 32,281 27,917
Provision for Doubtful Debts 27,736 (45,713)
Membership development 52,164 57,669
Product Development & Marketing Expenses 159,551 156,873
Project Costs 71,744 193,263
TOTAL EXPENSES 886,669 1,146,227
COMPREHENSIVE INCOME/LOSS FOR THE YEAR 39,448 (62,913)
CHATA continued to reap its benefits of outsourcing all
financial administration tasks with the aim to increase
member satisfaction by focusing on membership value.
IBCTC (Prior known as The Business Factory) is the partner
for business administration expertise. IBCTC has been in
charge of CHATA’s daily administrative and financial tasks
with a strong focus on Membership Billing & Processing.
CHATA’s finance saw a decrease in membership dues
of 7.5%. Total expenses remained well within budget and
CHATA decreased its expenses by 17% in comparison to last
year. CHATA booked a positive result of Nafl. 39,448 for
We have seen a decrease in the personnel and general
expenses of 35%.
Accounts Receivables & Cash Flow
The year 2017 ended with an accounts receivable balance
of Nafl. 139,932
Audit by Deloitte
Audit took place in December 2017 and January, February
& March 2018, with a focus on a true and fair view of the
financial position of CHATA. The audit included an analysis
of CHATA’s financial performance and cash flows for the
year. Audit was conducted in accordance with the
International Standards on Auditing.
In 2017, Curaçao experienced a decrease in visitor arrivals and visitor nights. One of the main
reasons for the decline in visitors was the decrease in traffic from our neighbor country Venezuela.
In addition to this, Curaçao also lost a lot of traffic due to the decrease in flights from InselAir.
CTB reported a decline of 9.8% visitors to Curaçao in 2017. In total, 397,886 stay over visitors were
welcomed in the course of this year.
Despite the decrease in visitor arrivals, Curaçao only recorded a decrease in visitor nights of 0.9%
and also recorded an increase in length of stay of 9.9%.
Tourism generated Nafl. 1,563,1 million in 2017. Utilizing the ‘Turistika Model’, CTB and Ministry
of Economic Development calculated in terms of the contribution to our economy, that tourism
contributed with a direct impact of Nafl. 956.7 million in the year 2017. This is an increase of 1%
compared to the year 2016.
Hotel Occupancy in 2017 was 72.7%, while in 2016 it was 70.7%. Compared to 2016 Hotel Occupancy
increased by 2.82%. Average Daily Rates went up from $144.30 in 2016 to $144.35 in 2017. The
Revenue Per Available Room has increased with $2.90, being $104.98 in 2017 as compared to
$102.08 in 2016.
Average Hotel Occupancy: 72.7%
Average Daily Rate: $144.35
Revenue Per Available Room: $104.98
Curaçao Culinary Team
Curaçao’s Culinary Team successfully represented Curaçao at the 2017 Taste of the Caribbean
competition organized by Caribbean Hotel & tourism Association (CHTA) in Miami. These highly
motivated young chefs and bartender had the opportunity to create signature dishes and have
various guests enjoy their creations. The chefs performed exceptionally well and managed to
bring home 13 medals. CHATA is a great supporter of this event and believes that it is a great tool
to create awareness, support the development of our young professionals in the tourism industry
and showcase our local abilities and delicacies to the world. CHATA congratulates the Curaçao
Culinary Team 2017 with their achievement and thanks the team for placing Curaçao on the map.
In September, CHATA organized a Culinary Competition for local chefs and bartenders in order to
select the new members of the Curaçao Culinary Team 2018. The Curaçao Culinary Team consists
of 4 chefs, 1 pastry chef and 1 bartender. 12 Chefs competed for the honor of becoming part
of the new Culinary Team. The winners were selected by a group of elite judges consisting of
international celebrity chef Hans van Triest, winner of Caribbean Chef of the year 2006, Frans
Smits (Capriles Kliniek), Jeroen van der Velden (Gouverneur), Carlos Anthonij (Nemo), Helmie
Smeulders (Caribbean Spice Girl), Mike Pastoor (Avila Beach Hotel) and Toon Kennis (Maris
Stella). The proud sponsors of the culinary cooking competition were: Best Buy, Dani’s Fruit
Center, Delinova, De Jongh Trophies, Firgos, Mangusa, Marnix College Cas Cora, the Papagayo
Hotel, TUI and Twizt Catering. 7 Bartenders competed for the honor of becoming part of the new
Culinary Team. The winner was selected by a group of elite judges consisting of international
judge Raakesh Madoo (CHTA - Taste of the Caribbean Head Judge), Fenton Thomasita (Bartender
Association) and Vanessa Venturini (General Manager - Papagayo Beach Club). The proud
sponsors of the bartender competition were: Acoya Hotel Suites & Villas, Curaçao Tourist Board
, Dani’s Fruit Center, Dutch Treat, Firgos, Gidiana’s Catering, Licores Maduro, The Jongs Trophies,
Contemporaneous Events, and Point Snack.
In 2017, CHATA released the last 2 episodes of the ‘NosTURismo’ campaign. The essence of this
campaign was to convey the message that tourism and destination development is a contribution
of all of us. That tourism does not have one owner, it is owned by the thousands of people living
and working on Curacao both directly and indirectly in our tourism industry. This campaign was
also a celebration and recognition of the passion and motivation that makes this tourism business
happen! All 12 episodes can be found on CHATA’s YouTube channel.
CHATA’s Product Update
Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower. It is imperative for a business operating
in the tourism industry to regularly develop new services or products that can create additional
value to the customer. Each quarter, CHATA identified key insights on all noteworthy updates from
all CHATA members and compiled these in its quarterly Product Update Report that is shared with
tour operators, travel agents, PR agencies and other key stakeholders.
InCuraçao - CHATA in Room Magazine
The new edition of the CHATA in-room Magazine and visitors guide, InCuraçao was launched in
December 2017. In this edition, we focused on bringing our local experiences to live. The InCuraçao
magazine showcases different experiences and things to do on the island based on 6 travel
types namely, The Gentle Explorer, The Cultural Explorer, Crazy Spirit, No Hassle Traveler, Solo
Traveler and Foodie. In addition to this, InCuraçao Magazine also launched an experiential video
showcasing Curaçao from the perspective of an adventurous traveler. This magazine is available
in all CHATA Accommodations. A special thanks to Fortress Interactive for making the InCuraçao
Magazine a reality.
Stars of the Industry
CHATA continued to recognize its employees and supervisors during the year. In 2017 CHATA had
the pleasure of awarding 70 employees with the Stars of the Industry Award. A special thanks
goes out to all the sponsors of the event, CineMark Curaçao, United Distributors, Sprock Distilleries,
Landhuis Chobolobo, Starbucks Curaçao and Atlantis Diving which provided the nominees with a
small token of appreciation for their hard work and dedication for the industry.
Active Participation at Fairs & International Tradeshows
CHATA attended several tradeshows and represented its members at Vakantie Beurs, ANATO,
CHTA, ITB, Meetings with Airlines, Wholesalers and many more! (All partners received a Trip
CHATA Language courses
In its efforts to increase the language proficiency in the tourism sector, the CHATA Academy
provided language courses to tourism professionals in Curaçao. Through these courses CHATA
wants to equip our tourism professionals with the necessary tools to provide a better experience
to our visitors by being able to speak their native language. In 2017 CHATA provided courses in
German, Spanish and Portuguese. A total of 71 participants took part of the various language
MoU between CHATA and CTDF
In January 2017, CTDF and CHATA signed a MoU stating that they will work together on the
development and promotion of our tourism product. In addition to this both parties have committed
to the execution of the Tourism Master Plan.
CHATA & GreenKidz join forces
On October 6th CHATA announced that it will partner with GreenKidz in order to educate the youth
about the importance of Tourism and Sustainability. The aim is for students to better understand
the relationship between a clean and environmentally conscious island, a strong tourism sector,
sustainable economic development and job opportunities on the island. CHATA visited multiple
elementary schools to work up & close with some eager students.
CHATA Asina No Campaign
In March 2017, CHATA launched a two part local awareness campaign titled “Asina No” engaging
the community and highlighting tourism as the most important economic pillar of the island. In the
first part of the awareness campaign a little boy pleads for concrete actions from the community
to support our tourism industry The second part of the awareness campaign includes again a
video- illustrating the same boy, but this time inspiring the public on how positive change can be
accomplished. The awakening message motivates the entire community to take the right actions.
This video is a direct message to the government and the people of Curaçao to stay involved in the
tourism industry. The safety of our visitors is an important issue. As the boy in the video inspires,
“What’s done is done, we must look ahead. Let’s take this road together; the future of this island
is in my hands, but you- the adult- are my example.”
CHATA Tourism Lab
In 2017, CHATA organized a session with industry professionals to explore concrete possibilities to
incorporate tourism in our school curriculum. Students are not well acquainted with what tourism
entails and are often misinformed about the range of opportunities that the sector provides. On
November 23rd, CHATA hosted its first Tourism Lab sponsored by MCB where 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.
CHATA Launches Silent Auction
From the 3rd till 27th of September, CHATA held its annual Silent Auction. During this online
fundraising, the guests were able to bid on all kinds of wonderful deals. Deals varying from
weekend stays, flights and much more. This annual fundraising is organized in order to raise funds
to be invested in the tourism development such as the tourism awareness campaigns, human
capital development and promotion of the destination. But last year the Silent Auction was held
for an additional purpose. As an apprehensive sister association, CHATA pledged to use the Silent
Auction platform as a way to support destinations that were affected by hurricane Irma. A part of
the proceeds went to Hurricane Irma Relief Funds for the SSS Islands. In total CHATA was able to
raise 9,654.04 Nafl. from the auction.
In December 2017, CHATA & CTB organized the Global Trade Symposium in which over 70 tour
operators and airlines from Europe, North America South America and Caribbean visited Curaçao.
During the symposium CHATA organized a Marketplace in which the CHATA members had the
opportunity to meet one on one with several tour operators. During the marketplace, the tour
operators also had the opportunity to indulge in several experiences such as a hand massage, an
arts workshop, Senior liqueur tasting and CurAloe juice tasting.
MCB Breakfast Meeting
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 such as a favorable investment climate and regulatory framework.
For this reason, CHATA invited Mr. Daniel Hodge former Chairman of the Curaçao Bankers
Association to provide his insight on the role of banking and the development of our tourism
sector in a CHATA MCB Breakfast Meeting.
According to Mr. Hodge, “Each and everyone on the island holds different but equally important
tools to grow our industry”. The role of the banking sector is to finance solid initiatives to
increase qualified capacity (i.e. rooms) on the island. Furthermore he emphasized that we must
institutionalize the undertaking of tourism related research and the collaboration among the most
relevant partners in order to identify where to target our best efforts in terms of service delivery,
product attractiveness and combatting tourist related crime.
in 2017, CHATA held several Member Meetings to provide its members with an update of the
industry. Often CHATA also invites keynote speakers to elaborate on trending topics affecting the
industry. 2 of our most remarkable keynote speakers of 2017 include the Honorary Minister of
Economic Development Dr. Steven Martina and Mrs. Ronella Tjin Asjoe–Croes (CEO of ATA). The
Minister spoke about the future of the industry and his commitment to a public private structure
for CTDF and leadership for the organization. Furthermore, he also requested the commitment of
the hospitality industry to take initiatives and invest in the development of the sector.
Mrs. Ronella Tjin Asjoe–Croes provided the audience with an insight into the evolution of the
Aruba Tourism Authority from a government agency to a unique independent legal entity within
the public sphere. Mrs. Tjin Asjoe- Croes shared with the audience that the transformation of ATA
has enabled the organization to become more flexible, effective and pro-active. Furthermore, their
strong collaboration with the private sector has enabled Aruba to maintain its competitive edge
within the Caribbean. Mrs. Ronella Tjin Asjoe- Croes emphasized that Curaçao should not strive
to become like Aruba, but rather should learn from its peers and use the acquired knowledge to
strengthen the unique capabilities of the island.
Curaçao Inclusion Project
CHATA has partnered with the Alton Paas Foundation in order to promote accessibility amongst our
members. The Alton Paas Foundation aims to raise awareness and to work for a better quality of life
for people with spinal cord injury and other neurological disorders in the community of Curaçao.
In 2017 Alton Paas launched the Inclusion Project. The project consisted of an accessibility audit
of all CHATA Member Hotels and Restaurants. The most the most accessible hotel, restaurant and
employer was recognized during the Curaçao Inclusion Award. Avila Beach Hotel was awarded
the most accessible hotel and Nautilus Restaurant was awarded the most accessible restaurant.
CHATA’s 50th Anniversary on April 3rd, 2017
2017 was an exciting year for CHATA seeing that we celebrated our 50th anniversary. CHATA
is immensely proud for having been able to accomplish so much in the last 50 years with
the support of our members. One of the ways in which CHATA decided to commemorate this
important anniversary was by launching an awareness campaign to educate the community on
the importance of tourism. In addition to this CHATA also partnered with some of its members
to provide some wonderful deals to our visitors, such as discounted hotel stays during the low
CTB/CHATA Marketing Retreat
In September 2017, CHATA and CTB held a marketing retreat to collectively discuss the marketing
approach and tactics for 2018.
In 2017 we have seen some promising airlift developments in airlift capacity. KLM added 3
additional flights a week to Curacao, amounting to a total of 12 flights per week. The Caribbean
and South America market celebrated great success with the inauguration of Fly Allways flights
to and from Suriname twice a week. Next to this Winair also started providing flights to Curacao
3 times a week. Sunrise Airways also launched its new twice weekly air service from Haiti to
Curaçao starting in November.
In 2017 some airlines providing air service to Curaçao experienced difficulties. Air Berlin ended
all its Caribbean flight schedule from Dusseldorf in September 2017 as result of a bankruptcy in
August 2017. Insel Air experienced financial difficulties and was forced to suspend many routes in
order to decrease cost. At the moment Insel Air only provides air service to Aruba, Bonaire
St. Maarten and Suriname.
On January 17th, the then Minister of Economic Development, mr. Eugene Rhuggenaath and the
then Minister of Finance, mr. Kenneth Gijsbertha on behalf of the Government of Curaçao signed
an important agreement with Airbnb that will help to promote Curaçao as a world class tourist
destination. This partnership will also create a framework that will allow the Government of Curaçao
and Airbnb to address issues such as taxes, host accommodation standards and regulations share
aggregate data and support Curaçao’s tourism marketing campaigns.
UP CLOSE & PERSONAL
Chairman of CHATA
Q: How do you reflect on last year’s journey of
A: I would have to say that it was an overall good
year. Especially seeing the fact that the board aligned
themselves behind the same goals which evidently led
to the Board becoming even stronger.
Q: What is the main difference between being a
regular member of CHATA and a member of the
A: As a member, I often had the perception that
resolving certain matters took too long or had
little progress. However, as a board member, you
get a better sense of the intricacy of the Tourism
industry and therefore get a bigger appreciation
of the victories. The government is a big influencer
in the industry, especially when it regards the
financial decisions of CTB as an organization. With
this in mind I believe that it would benefit CTB and
the industry , if CTB became more independent of
the government in accordance with the TMP. At the
end of the day CTB needs to become a balanced
organization connecting the government and the
Q: Why did you apply for the position of
A: I always had the passion to contribute to the further
betterment of the industry. As the owner of a hotel, I have
both the time and expertise to delve into the position of
Chairman and provide leadership the board.
Q: What is your main priority as Chairman of the
A: As the Chairman of CHATA my main goals is the
implementation of the Tourism Master Plan. Seeing the
importance and the amount of effort that was put into
making this plan it is imperative that we implement now
and for all.
Q: How will you manage for CHATA to reach this
A: I would like CHATA to create a stronger bond with CTB
and the government. CHATA often has valuable data that
the CTB and Government can utilize. By unifying these
organizations, we can unquestionably reach milestones
and enforce our Tourism industry!
Q: What can our members expect from you as our
A: I have an open door policy just like I have with my
employees. My door will be always open for all members
who wish to provide me with their feedback. For me it is
essential to give everyone the opportunity to express
their opinion in an open and comfortable environment. I
am always open for constructive criticism, because at the
end of the day the future of this industry depends on the
teamwork from all of us.
Q: Where do you see our tourism industry over
A: Basically with a doubled amount of hotel rooms & a
doubled ADR. I firmly believe that this is achievable
especially seeing that the international economy is
getting better. A stronger economy gives consumers
the opportunity to invest more into the travel industry.
Curaçao has a rich culture with dushi people, crystal blue
beaches, breathtaking natural scenery and charachteristic
historical buildings. Altogether a perfect destination with
Q: What is your message to the Members?
A: Let us all unify ourselves. We need to focus on our
qualities and creating synergies instead of nitpicking on
what we lack. With this mindset we can unquestionably
make this industry a high quality and well-oiled machine.
Q: How would you describe your period as the
chairman of the board?
A: It was a period of bridging gaps between the public
& private sector and maintaining the focus on some
important matters that played an imperative role within
the industry. To be frank it was different than what I
expected. Often it is easy for us to criticize decisions an
organization or someone in an organization takes without
having proper insight. As the chairman, of the board it
was noticeable for me how much effort different people
and organizations invest in the betterment of the industry
that often does not meet the public eye. This has led me
to have a better understanding and appreciation of the
different stakeholders within the tourism sector. I believe
CHATA can play a bigger role in keeping its members
and the public up to date about efforts being done for the
development of the industry.
Q: What do you consider personal achievements
and or achievements of the board?
A: As the board of CHATA we managed to unite behind
common goals and priorities. Also, we were able to gain
more understanding and knowledge of the public sector
and achieved improved collaboration with CTB and the
Q: Any advice for the current board and the
A: My advice to the CHATA Board is to keep their eyes
on the prize and not deviate from the goals that have
been set. In addition to this I advice them to try and place
themselves in the shoes of the other party. Try to see
things from their perspective and take their needs and
motivations into account. This will make it easier for both
parties to achieve their goals.
To the members, I urge them to become more active and
stop focusing on the negative. It is time for us as members
of CHATA to become more proactive and start taking
initiatives. We need to stop asking what our country can
do for us and start asking what we can do for our country!
With this change of mindset, we can all surely get a step
closer to a stronger and fructiferous Tourism industry.
Former Chairman of CHATA
It is time for us as CHATA members to become
more proactive and start taking initiative.
Former Treasurer of CHATA
Q: How do you perceive your past 9 years as CHATA
A: When CHATA approached me 9 years ago to become a
board member of CHATA, I decided to take on the position
because of the impact the industry had on the economy of
Curaçao. I figured if the industry is doing well, so will the
economy and so will my business. One of the personal
goals I have achieved within CHATA, is contributing to
making CHATA a more inclusive organization through the
restructuring of the board elections.
In the past, it was the case that the current board members
compiled a list with potential new candidates for the
board and submitted these for approval to the membership.
Other members also had the opportunity to place
themselves up for election, however they had no board
endorsement. As a result, the same board members remained
within the board year after year. This non-democratic
way of appointing the board was the reason why
many companies choose not to affiliated themselves with
CHATA at that time. By changing the system, it became
easier to unify the sector and garner support for CHATA.
Q: What was your main goal as a board member
A: As owner of Impacto and at the time Director of the
owning company of the Marriot Hotel I often fulfilled the
role of a board member from a hotel point of view. My
main goal was therefore, to increase ADR. Unfortunately
the ADR is still relatively low, especially when you
compare it with other destinations in the Caribbean
region. The ADR is increasing but not at the same speed
and level as our neighboring countries. Therefore, we
need to start working twice as hard if we want to get to
the desired ADR.
Q: What would you like to advice the current
board and its members?
A: Increase room capacity by expanding & renovating
current accommodations and later on move to constructing
brand new ones. I think if this is accomplished than we
can count on a stronger tourism sector.
Q: Now that you’re not a board member anymore,
what can we expect from you in the future?
A: I am looking forward to re-establish and reinforce hospitality
courses in our educational system, by introducing
the concept of “Werkend Leren” in partnership with
different school boards. But needless to say, as an active
CHATA member, my company and I will always be available
to support and advice the board when and if needed.
I wish the current board nothing more than wisdom and
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Content: CHATA. CHATA Board,
IBCTC, Deloitte, CTB, MEO
Photography: Theo Meijer, ESO