WILLEMSTAD – The Curaçao Tourist Board (CTB) reports a preliminary growth of 2.9% during the first eleven months of 2016, when leaving aside the negative impact from Venezuela on the year to date arrivals. Traffic from the neighbor country Venezuela showed a slowdown this year causing a negative impact on our overall performance. Venezuela, plagued by the ongoing economic challenges, is short by 28,894 visitors in the first eleven months, resulting in a 34% decrease on the year to date performance.
Curaçao welcomed in total 401,728 stayover visitors between January and November 2016, a decrease of 5% compared to the same period in last year.
Stayover visitor arrivals from North America have reached a total 69,808. A falloff in travelers from South America in particular from Venezuela, has caused a decrease 23% to reach a total of 97,853. From the Caribbean we welcomed 31,533 visitors. The European market, with 188,472 stayover visitors, continued its strong performance with a growth of 4% compared to the same period in 2015.
CTB and MEO utilizes the ‘Turistika Model’ to calculate the economic impact generated from the tourism industry. During the first eleven months of 2016 a direct impact of $ 454.9 million US dollars is generated for the local economy. 52.2% of the total direct impact is generated from European visitors who are responsible for $ 237.6 million US dollars. The North American, South American and other regions generated respectively $ 91.9, $ 94.2 and $ 31.2 million US dollars.
November Arrivals 2016
The strong marketing and sales promotion of the KLM Curaçao Marathon in the Netherlands from 2014 and beyond is showing positive results from Holland. In November, Curaçao welcomed a total of 13,249 stayover visitors from the Netherlands, an increase of 3% compared to the same period last year. The amount of stayover visitors from Germany registered an increase of 4% reaching a total of 2,371, a result of good air connectivity. In total we welcomed 17,712 European visitors, a 1% growth.
Festivals and special events have been and continue to be an important medium to boost the tourism industry. The promotion of the Summer Fall Festival and the sport event Curaçao Extreme Finals in collaboration with CTB is causing measurable effects. The Caribbean region registered an increase of 6%, reaching a total of 3,220 stayover visitors in November. Aruba with a total 1,569 stayover grew by 19%.
We registered a total of 5,702 stayover visitors from North America in November. The 11% decrease is the outcome of a soft month that didn’t deliver the growth that we’ve anticipated. The Caribbean in general is pacing slower low seasons, as US visitors are pending and saving to see the winter turn-out to escape down South to warmer destinations. November month was an unpredictable and tense election month, forcing Americans to rather stay home, vote, rally, campaign and watch the developments, than to be disconnected in a foreign country. In November Curaçao welcomed 4,671 stayover visitors from the United States and 1,035 stayover visitors from Canada.
In November we welcomed a total of 6,728 stayover visitors from South America.
Although the outcome of the US election affected the dollar/peso exchange rate negatively, Colombia arrivals still performed well compared to last year. In November we registered an increase of 1% to a total of 1,193 stayover visitors from Colombia. Consistency in the marketing and PR efforts has led to positive outcomes for the past few months and the November month is no exception. Brazil registered a growth of 61% to a reach a total of 721 visitors in November.
In November we registered an increase of average visitor nights per stay of 10%. On average visitors stayed 8.1 nights in November. Last year the average nights per person was recorded at 7.4 nights. In terms of visitor nights a decrease of 11% is recorded in November 2016. A total of 279,837 visitor nights were registered compared to 313,805 last year. This is a result of the reduced amount of visitors.