218 million US dollars generated from Tourism in the first five months

June 23, 2017

Netherlands and USA achieved positive outcome in May…
WILLEMSTAD –June 22nd, 2017 – At the start of the tourism low season, the Curaçao Tourist Board (CTB) is reporting a growth in visitor arrivals from the United States of America. In total 5,164 US visitors are registered in May, recording double digit growth of 16% compared to last year. The US market is currently the second producing market for Curaçao’s tourism industry. The tourism performance from the US market stumbled in the first months of 2017 and is finally showing favorable outcome. In the first place, The Netherlands recorded an 8% growth in May 2017. 12,073 Dutch visitors were counted this year in May. The fact that the top two producing countries achieved positive numbers in the start of the low season is satisfied. May, as we know, is traditionally one of the low season months and is generally characterized by a slowdown in visitor arrivals.

Out of the region North America, we see an increase of 14% more visitors in May 2017. In total 5,813 North American visitors is registered. North Americans represent 20% of all the visitors in May this year. The European region recorded an increase of 5% in May, counting a total of 14,914 Europeans to Curaçao. The market share in arrivals from Europe is currently 51%. In other words half of our visitors are Europeans.

In total we see year-on-year performance falling by 6%. Precisely, in total 1,783 fewer visitors were registered this month, bringing the total count to 29,198 visitors against 30,981 in the same month last year. The fall in arrivals is due to the fact that third producing country, Venezuela, is still affecting our overall arrivals performance. A decrease of 44% is registered from Venezuela in May 2017. The secondary markets in South America; Brazil and Colombia recorded respectively -38% and 2% in May 2017. Remarkable is the performance out of Ecuador, this growth does not represent much in absolute numbers; nonetheless CTB’s effort to educate tour operators in Ecuador about Curaçao is showing positive results.

May also noted favorable insights for the visitor nights. The trend that visitors are staying longer on island continues as we see that on average they stayed 8.6 nights in May. Last year the average nights per person was recorded at 7.8 nights. In terms of total visitor nights an increase of 3% is recorded in May 2017. A total of 250,808 visitor nights were registered compared to 242,532 last year.

The ratio between visitor nights and stayover arrivals shows that despite the fact we registered less stayover arrivals, the visitor nights are showing a less negative outcome in terms of the direct economic impact from the tourism industry.

Year to Date: Economic Impact, Visitor Arrivals and Visitor Nights
Data generated from the ‘Turistika Model’ shows that a direct impact of $ 218.0 million US dollars is generated for the local economy in the first five months of 2017. Last year, the direct impact generated the same amount of money for the local economy. At least half of the economic impact (53%) is generated from European visitors. European visitors are responsible for $ 115.7 million US dollars. The North American, South American and other regions generated respectively $ 53.7, $ 36.1 and $ 12.5 million US dollars.

The total spending per visitor derives from the number of nights spent on island. Equal economic impact means in this case that visitors from the top two producing regions, Europe and North America, are staying longer and thus are spending more money while on island. We might see an overall negative outcome in visitor arrivals; nonetheless the economic impact is not affected by the loss from overall arrivals.

In total 173,469 stayover visitors were welcomed in Curaçao in the first five months of 2017. Last year we counted 196,005 stayover visitors over the same period, a decrease of 11%. Despite the negative stayover arrivals performance during the first five months, we see an in increase in the average nights spent on island. The preliminary statistics show an overall average of 8.8 nights per visitor in the first five months of 2017 compared to 7.9 nights in 2016. An increase of 11% is registered during the first five months of 2017. In total visitors spent 1,531,727 nights in Curaçao. 63.1% of the visitors nights spent are from European visitors, representing 967,198 nights from the region. In total an increase of 6% visitor nights is registered from European visitors. From North America, the visitor nights increased by 3%. A total of 261,983 nights are registered in the first five months from this region.

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