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Caring about the Tourist

From the Hato Airport to transportation organizations, from restaurants to attractions and from taxi services to the environment – when passing by the tourism network, you will soon see that almost everyone has something to do with tourism, whether linked indirectly or directly, banking institutions and insurance companies as well. No insurance, no activity.

Due to the fact that many products are classifi ed under Tourism, CHATA is involved with Government and other services. They talk about environment and infrastructure. CHATA also appears when dealing with investments. Data is published by CHATA and people approach the association with the purpose
of investment. A plan has been developed by DROV (Dienst Ruimtelijke Ontwikkeling en Volkshuisvesting) about the reef area. Metacorp, owner of the new Renaissance, is also involved.

According to the development plan, Metacorp has asked for a new development in this area. The Cayo Group, it seems, has a different opinion on this. At this stage, both investors are trying to combine their ideas. DROV contributes by mediating a proposition. According to Curaçao Tourism Board (CTB), there
are 4000 hotel rooms under construction. What is for every investor, as for the Gayo Group, a reason to invest in the Curaçao tourism sector.

Apart from CHATA there is HSMAI (Hospitality, Sales and Marketing Assotiation International) which focuses on marketing and sales and improves professionalism by offering training and courses. Companies can send in their best ideas and be awarded. ‘Look, a winner in Curaçao, back then for webdesigning, makes a good reputation for our island’, Don Werdekker teases, ‘that is nice, isn’t it?’ CHATA does much more. They also have CHTF (Curaçao Hospitality Training Foundation) established. A hotel college is being built where students get the opportunity to gain knowledge and experience in the hotel business. In the so-called ‘Academy Hotel Curaçao’, students of the hospitality school can gain their fi rst fi eld experience. Students are being trained and their coaches are being trained also. 2000
jobs will arise from tourism in the course of the following years. This is the most precise and active way CHTF is involved.

When dealing with training and education of persons employed, Maylin Trenidad of Renaissance has some of her own ideas. The Renaissance hotel, which opens December 15th, has 240 rooms and needs a lot of staff. Curaçao is fast evolving, so fast that it is in fact hard to follow when talking about staff.’
We are looking for skilled people and they are quite hard to fi nd’, says Maylin Trenidad, General Manager of the new hotel. They are currently adapting the learning method used in high schools to tourism. Especially the VSBO (Vocational school) takes advantage of this subject and even the niversity of the Netherlands Antilles has recently launched a bachelor degree in the tourism sector. On several levels, education works in benefi t of the Curaçao Economy. ‘ Educating and training people is quite a challenge. Do not forget the culture, this is different everywhere.

Even for Curaçao’, says Maylin Trenidad. ‘We have some very good people, very hard working and so friendly by nature. Sometimes you must awaken these skills. They have it in them but it doesn’t always show. They are learning the way to approach people. We are getting rid of uncertainty, praising them
for what they do well and this is important. It is our task, as managers, to make it happen. It is all about bringing forward the best in us. The guests of our hotel deserves the best personal service they can get and are not just another number. We want to provide them with that extra attention and from that point of view we are going to train our people’.