CHATA: Severe staff shortage in the hospitality sector in Curaçao, we can no longer serve tourists

May 23, 2023  –WILLEMSTAD – The hospitality sector is pleased with the arrival of a third airline, Corendon, which will fly from the Netherlands to Curaçao. However, the joy is overshadowed by the massive staff shortage on the island. This was made clear by Hans Slier, chairman of the Hotel and Tourism Association (CHATA), during a press conference at the Corendon hotel yesterday. 

The lack of labor is so dire that restaurants are partially or sometimes entirely closing their doors due to staff shortages, and hotels are unable to maintain their service levels. 

Slier outlined a gloomy scenario where, despite the growing airlift and the addition of more hotel rooms, the workforce lags behind. 


Every year, the population of Curaçao decreases by three thousand people, and every year, three to four thousand people exit the workforce due to aging, according to Slier. 

Business owners in the automotive industry also complain that immigration policies are not focused on utilizing foreign workers. 

Therefore, CHATA urges the government to develop policies aimed at expanding the labor force. According to Slier, at least ten thousand workers are needed to sustain Curaçao’s economy. 

We need a growing population to maintain our level of prosperity and well-being in Curaçao, if only to replenish depleting social funds, sustain healthcare, and support the old-age pension provision (AOV). We may have to work until the age of 70, and there is a real possibility that the AOV may need to be halved if no action is taken, says Slier. 

According to the CHATA chairman, a population of at least 250,000 people is ultimately necessary for relative autonomy without dependence on the Netherlands. 

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