Tracing its roots back to 1837, when it was founded as a trading company, S.E.L. Maduro & Sons
is considered one of the oldest established companies in the Caribbean. Today, it is active in shipping services, travel & leisure, and transport industries throughout Curaçao, Aruba, Bonaire, St. Maarten and the Netherlands.
Managing Director of S.E.L. Maduro & Sons (Aruba) Inc. and Maduro Travel (Aruba) Inc., Hans van Esveld, explains a little bit about the company’s activities: “We have two main activities: a travel agency and we represent tanker, cargo, cruise, and container lines. When a ship comes in to Aruba, we are in the harbor waiting for them and arranging all legal and customs papers. If there is a sick passenger or crew member, or if they have run out of potatoes or any other supplies, we take care of that.”
The second section of the company’s business, the travel agency, is the biggest agency in Aruba with about 60% of the market. “We have four different branches here, and handle all travel arrangements for the Dutch military camp,” says Mr. van Esveld. “Other travel agencies are more family-owned smaller operations. Continuity is granted, because when I leave here, somebody will come in and fill my shoes, because there is a solid company structure. In travel and shipping, continuity is important.”
Gaining new business is always high on any company’s agenda and S.E.L Maduro & Sons aims to grow their business even further by attracting cruise tourists during the low season. “The first thing, at least for us as a major cruise ship service provider, it is very important that Aruba attracts more ships in the off-season,” says Mr. van Esveld.
“The low season is from June to September, and about 75% of ships are serviced here between October and May. Otherwise there are hardly any ships coming in, even though the facilities are there. We proposed a program with the Aruba Ports Authority, and other islands in the Southern Caribbean to encourage cruise lines to come to the Southern Caribbean during this off period.
“I think that would provide a huge boost for Aruba’s economy by providing incentives such as lower rates and tariffs. The impression we get from the captains of the cruise ships when they are in port, is that Aruba is always rated very, very high as compared to other ports by their passengers and the crewmembers.”