Published On: Tue, Dec 10th, 2013

De Telegraaf: ‘Abuse of power on tourist island’

TUI-NederlandWILLEMSTAD – “The Dutch tour operator Arke is using its dominant position in Curacao to abuse. There is also talk about defaults to suppliers.”

This is according to one of the hotels in Curacao, which is taking Arke’s mother company TUI to court. Apparently TUI is boycotting this resort, because it wants to do business with newcomers Corendon and Stip Reizen.

In the summary proceedings before the Amsterdam court, Livingstone Jan Thiel Resort demands of that Arke to offer it hotel again to their customers. “We suffer a 40,000 dollar loss per week because TUI does not fulfill its obligations.”

"Nonsense," Arke’s boss Steven van der Heijden said. “We just say to contractors: “You choose for us or for the competition. In the latter case we pull off, because we do not get carried away in a price war.”

In early January of 2014, discounters Corendon and Stip will fly three times a week to Curacao with KLM. "That will be increased during the summer season to five times a week, because the hotels who want to work with us can accommodate enough tourists," said Corendon chief executive Atilay Uslu.

Only Arke and Corendon are still the only major tour companies from the Netherlands to serve Curacao, since Oad went bankrupt and Neckermann stopped all its flights to the former Antilles this winter.

According to Van der Heijden, it’s purely business considerations. “There is legally nothing wrong with what we are doing.” But Livingstone hotel points towards contractual duty. “You cannot simply push aside an existing business relationship. There are rules that we want to enforce through the court.”

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