ECO DMS Celebrates 30 Years
Text by Rona Coster / Photos by One Happy Photographer
ECO DMS is one of the Dutch Caribbean’s premier full-service destination management companies. Operating in both Aruba and Curacao, the company combines creativity, personal service, and superior professional skills to deliver memorable motivational experiences to clients from around the globe.
In 2017, ECO DMS proudly celebrated the impressive milestone of being in business for 30 years. “Looking back,” ECO DMS President and CEO Wichita Villacres states, “it was a most rewarding year culminating with a four-day invitational event, including all the company’s international partners toasting to 30 years of successful collaboration.” The anniversary event also served as a way to celebrate the passing of the baton as Managing Director Maoreen Every, Villacres’ daughter, establishes herself as the future, charismatic leader of the company.
The four-day event was designed to impress the company’s international clients and showcase Aruba as a unique destination with a menu chock full of premium activities. The invitees, all powerful players in the MICE market, enjoyed a welcome beach-chic dinner at the Hyatt Regency; an advisory board meeting at The Ritz-Carlton, Aruba; a UTV adventure on the island’s backroads; and a festive dinner at Cas Di Wichi, a private cunucu residence off the hotel strip.
The festivities also included an educational event, in conjunction with the University of Aruba, where visitors and students met with local tourism partners to discuss the trends of the last 30 years and the upcoming trends that will affect the future of the industry. During the educational event, showcasing the expertise of international MICE market experts, Villacres and Every were presented with a surprise—generous checks for two of their charities, Hende Mujer den Difficultad, assisting victims of domestic violence, and ARF-Aruba, improving the lives of stray cats and dogs on the island. That afternoon concluded with a fun snorkel tour onboard the Monforte catamaran and dinner at the Hilton Aruba Caribbean Resort & Casino.
The last program day was dedicated to a meeting with Aruba Government officials, including the Aruba Tourism Board of Directors, and a formal 30th anniversary recognition and celebration event at the Renaissance Convention Center, attended by Minister of Tourism Dangui Oduber. The black-tie gala was flawlessly orchestrated, elegant and befitting the end of a yearlong celebration.
In a heartwarming address, Jairo Boekhoudt applauded Villacres for her special ability to recognize and identify local talent. He also complimented her on the top-notch organization she created, capable of servicing the island’s most discerning visitors.
The highlight of the evening was an award presentation in which Villacres and Every handed out attractive tokens of appreciation to a stellar list of more than two dozen MICE dignitaries, with BI Worldwide commemorating 27 years of alliance, Maritz Travel, 25 years, Prestige Global Meeting Source, 25 years, and many more, marking decades of collaboration.
Representatives of local companies also made a trip to the stage to collect their awards, including Kukoo Kunuku Party Bus, Elite Production, Sunny Ray Entertainment, Fofoti Tours & Transport, Action Tours, Pelican Watersports, Papiamento Restaurant, Hyatt Regency Aruba, Aruba Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino, Marketing Plus NV, Renaissance Aruba Resort, The Ritz-Carlton, Aruba, and the Hilton Aruba Caribbean Resort & Casino.
While on the island, the VIP guests enjoyed the hospitality of the Hyatt Regency Aruba, Hilton Aruba Caribbean Resort & Casino, Aruba Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino, Renaissance Aruba Resort, and The Ritz-Carlton, Aruba.
A well-deserved congratulations to Wichita Villacres, Maoreen Every, and the rest of the ECO DMS team on 30 years of excellent service in the field of destination management. Aruba is proud of you!