The Shoco Awards of Excellence was created as AHATA’s (Aruba Hotel and Tourism Association's) official recognition program focusing on excellence in service, hospitality and outstanding contribution to Aruba’s tourism industry. In its early years individual organizations were also recognized, but the award program has since evolved into focusing on individual accomplishments that have led to far-reaching results. In 2011 AHATA joined with the Ministry of Tourism to broaden the appeal of the program to also include the many individuals throughout Aruba’s society who contribute to the success of our tourism industry.

The Shoco award first received its name by merit of it being something truly symbolic of the island. The Shoco owl is one of Aruba’s natural treasures, indigenous to the island, and representing wisdom, resourcefulness, focus, vision and a keen sense of direction. The original look of the Shoco award was unique, with renowned local artists Maritza Erasmus and Edwin Donato having created the design. The original design of the award was unveiled in 2005, with an updated award statue introduced in 2010.(1)

Vivian Heyliger has been working with tourists for over 33 years; she has held her present position as concierge for Divi for 15 years. Aruba is known for its many repeat visitors, something that suits Vivian quite well and is probably one of her favorite things about her job as it has allowed her to create lasting relationships with guests. She's even become close enough with some Divi guests to invite them to her home for dinner! Her friendly manner often makes her the go-to staff member for just about every guest request. While things like room maintenance, housekeeping, and reservation issues aren't technically her responsibility, she's happy to redirect guests to one of her colleagues. She's even more happy when she receives extra-special requests like anniversary dinners or visits off the beaten path. Vivian is also responsible for training new staff and says, “It's very satisfying to be able to pass on the knowledge I have acquired after so many years to the next generation.”(2)

Vivian received her Shoco Award of Excellence in Tourism in 2012 and continues to assist Divi Aruba guests with all their needs.

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2. Campbell, Susan. “At Your Service!” Island Gourmet & Lifestyle Magazine. 2012: 58-62. Print.