WILLEMSTAD - CHATA hosted its first quarterly Membership Meeting of 2021 with the goal to inform all members regarding the recent developments within the sector. The Membership Meeting was held virtually as CHATA is still practicing the social distancing measures implemented by the Government. During the Membership Meeting, CHATA’s Managing Director, Mrs. Maria-Helena Seferina-Rojas, gave a short CHATA update, Ms. Peggy Croes, Director of Marketing, Air Service & Development from Curaçao Airport Partners gave an update on air service and the recent developments at the Curaçao International Airport. Lastly, Mr. Dr. Ashley Duits, Medical Immunologist at the Red Cross Blood Bank Foundation, presented a vaccine update to the members.
The meeting started with Mrs. Seferina-Rojas welcoming all viewers to the quarterly meeting. Her presentation started with the meeting program and several points the update would consist of. She shared the current local recovery efforts that the sector is working on, which includes, the COVID-19 vaccination program that started earlier this week, the attempts to create the travel safe corridors and code yellow, and lastly the COVID-19 insurance and test locations that are in process to simplify traveling to Curaçao. The test locations are currently being set up at different CHATA accommodation members and will be ready towards the beginning of March. The Medical Laboratory Services (MLS) will start the testing centers at the Curaçao Marriott Beach Resort on Monday, March 1, while at Sunscape Curaçao Resort, Spa & Casino, the same service will be provided as of Wednesday March 3. As for Papagayo Beach Hotel & Resort Curaçao, MLS will start its testing services on Monday, March 8. MLS will charge $90 per PCR test and $40 for an antigen test; the opening hours will initially be from 8 AM to 12 PM and the clients can receive their test the same day.
Mrs. Seferina-Rojas continued presenting the industry performance provided by the Curaçao Tourist Board (CTB), stating that in Q3 & Q4 of 2020, Curaçao received a total of 65,010 arrivals. As for hotel performance, an average of 34.5% of hotel rooms were occupied, while an Average Daily Rate (ADR) of $135.48 was recorded over the last two quarters of 2020. During that same period, an average of $46.22 was recorded in terms of Revenue Per Available Room (RevPAR). For January 2021, the results of CHATA’s Hotel Performance Survey amounted to 20% of average hotel occupancy, $183.84 ADR and $31.01 RevPar. The figures do not entirely reflect the actual situation, as the participating hotel numbers are too low. Therefore, CHATA emphasized the importance of hotel members to report on a monthly basis, to be able to report valid figures in the future. Regarding the room developments, for the next 4 years it can be expected that Curaçao will have an estimate of 3,086 additional rooms with all the upcoming hotel projects.
After the CHATA update, Ms. Peggy Croes took the time to present an update of the air service from CAP. During her presentation, Ms. Croes briefly stated the airline schedule for the European Market, North American Market, South American Market and the Caribbean, noting that the schedule is subject to change. It was mentioned that although we have been going through a tough time, we are very grateful for the country restrictions lifted by the Government. It is important to mention that without the European Market, Curaçao’s air service would have decreased even more, but it is also important to maintain a balance in our seats and distribution. There are many opportunities that Curaçao can take benefit from and work towards, such as the vaccination program, the health passport, the yellow corridor between Amsterdam and Curaçao, target marketing for the destination to showcase its safety and tranquility, which could result into stimulation of air fare competition.
Mrs. Croes concluded her presentation and the floor was given to Dr. Ashley Duits. Dr. Duits gave an elaborate explanation on the vaccine and its functionality, emphasizing that a vaccine is made and given to stimulate the same procedure of a virus penetrating a body, but without actually infecting the person. The vaccine itself stays roughly 5 to 7 days in the body to which the antibodies will continue to fight off the virus. Dr. Duits stated very convincing that no one has died as a consequence of these vaccines approved by the FDA. He continued to inform that this week and next week they will be focusing on vaccinating the most vulnerable people, and then continue on to the healthcare workers. It was estimated that towards the end of next week, the rest of the public could start getting their vaccine. In order to reach herd immunity, at least 80% of the population must be vaccinated.
Once all the presentations were given, Mrs. Seferina-Rojas allowed the viewers to ask questions from any presentation given. The virtual membership meeting was then concluded as Mrs. Seferina-Rojas thanked all members for tuning in.
CHATA will continue to update its members on the recent developments and looks forward to working together with all parties to achieve our goals.