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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.

ECO DMS welcoming guests to Aruba
Villacres and Every welcoming guests to the ECO anniversary event.

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.

ECO DMS welcomes international clients to welcome dinner at Hyatt Regency, Aruba
Welcome dinner at the Hyatt Regency.
UTV adventure activity to Black Stone Beach, Aruba
UTV adventure, Black Stone Beach
UTV adventure, Bushiribana Gold Mill Ruins
UTV adventure, Bushiribana Gold Mill Ruins
ECO DMS dinner at Aruban home
Dinner at Cas di Wichi
Cas di Wichi
ECO DMS event Aruba
Cas di Wichi

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.

Aruba tourism representatives
Front left to right: Jerusha Rasmijn, Ronella Tjin Asjoe-Croes, Wichita Villacres, and Maoreen Every at special educational event
Monforte catamaran excursion in Aruba
Monforte catamaran excursion
Dinner at Hilton Aruba
Dinner at Hilton Aruba
Dinner at Hilton Aruba
Dinner at Hilton Aruba
Dinner at Hilton Aruba
Dinner at Hilton Aruba

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.

Wichita Villacres, owner of ECO DMS
Wichita Villacres at the gala event
guests at the ECO DMS gala event at Renaissance Convention Center, Aruba
ECO gala event at the Renaissance Convention Center

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.

ATA officials receive award from ECO DMS Aruba
The Aruba Tourism Authority was recognized at the ECO gala event.
Guests at the anniversary event of ECO DMS Aruba
Guests at the gala event

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.

ECO DMS event Aruba
ECO gala event

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!