Eagle Beach – The members of the Aruba Timeshare Association, enjoyed a fruitful lunch-meeting at La Cabana Beach Resort & Casino with representatives of most of the island’s Vacation Ownership properties in attendance as well as a number of strategic partners.

Having approved the minutes of the previous meeting the forum appreciated an in-depth Salary Benchmarking survey with data collected and analyzed by the Human Resources department of La Cabana Beach Resort & Casino, with input from ATSA’s membership. The important information was shared among members and will be used to determine pay grades and make comparisons with the local market.

Businesswoman and community leader Lissette Malmbeg introduced the HOPE Foundation next, with 17 global goals targeting the end of poverty and hunger on the island by 2030. She described the scope and content of her plans for HOPE and delivered a very strong, fact-based message, for companies to collaborate and help solve some of Aruba’s social challenges without waiting for the Government to do the job. HOPE, she promised will start a civic movement, with volunteers bringing their time, talent and treasures to the platform so that prosperity in Aruba is sustainable and shared. Malmberg was accompanied by members of her Civic Center, Tabitha Smith and Diana Croes.

Lawyer Patrick Brown then gave a short presentation regarding the proposed changes in the Articles of Association which would allow ATSA to grow by inviting condo projects into the Association, providing they fulfill their fiscal responsibilities, by collecting and remitting room taxes to the Government. With 1028 condo rooms on the island ATSA would like to see some of the compliant properties become members. A membership fee structure is currently being discussed.

Hotelier Andy Osbourne who represents ATSA on the Board of the Aruba Hospitality & Security Foundation (AH&SF) presented their accomplishments in 2017 and outlined the 2018 plan. The Security Foundation, an important hospitality partner enjoys the full support of ATSA in its mission to keep Aruba safe, secure and environmentally friendly particularly in the areas frequented by tourists. AH&SF is as a public & private partnership with its basic priority to support KPA.

During Freeword, General Manager Joe Najjar delivered a short report regarding TPHF, the Tourism Product Enhancement Fund, which is taking care of the designated swim zones and the buoys installed at popular beaches. Najjar also added that an agreement with Clean Master ensures trash collection, at those same beaches. Recently, a number of local design companies were asked to submit a plan for bike paths, and jogging trails along the Malmok area, facilitating exercise and recreation and shared plans for street lighting in the Arashi Beach – California Lighthouse area.

Najjar also urged membership to pay close attention to new watersports businesses relocated from the high-rise area as to not overcrowd Aruba’s fragile Eagle Beach.

President Ursell Arends informed that the Association is looking at the expansion of the Orientation Week, an annual event inviting vocational students for property visits, into an Internship Program, nurturing qualified hospitality students and preparing them to enter into the service of the industry.

President Arends thanked La Cabana for hosting a perfect event including a sumptuous healthy lunch.