Business View Caribbean, July/August 2018

92 93 THE CURAÇAO HOSPITALITY AND TOURISMASSOCIATION FOR A DIFFERENT DUTCH CARIBBEAN HOSPITALITY AND TOURISM ASSOCIATION THE T he Curaçao Hospitality and Tourism Association was originally founded in 1967 as the Curaçao Hotel Associa- tion by a group of hotel owners who saw the need to develop an organization that could represent their needs and agendas.At the time, there was no official tourism board on the island and only about 500 hotel rooms. In 1982, the Association’s bylaws were amended to allow the participation of non-hotel tourism partners, and its name was changed to the Curaçao Hotel and TourismAssociation. In 1998, the name was changed, again, to the Curaçao Hospitality and TourismAssociation (CHATA), now representing the entire hospitality and tourism industry in Curaçao. “It started off as a vehicle to represent the interests of the private sector, and throughout the years,we have been adding several activ- ities next to our core business,which remains advocacy and lobbying on several fronts with the government and stakeholders,” says CHATA’s President,Miles Mercera.“Today, there are over 4,000 rooms within the Association; over 220 members; and a room capacity on the island of about 7,500, of which the majority that we