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WILLEMSTAD- May 20, 2021 – The Curaçao Tourist Board (CTB) recently organized an interactive seminar on the North American market. CHATA and CASHA members were the invited participants. The session was hosted by Paul Pennicook, CEO of the Curaçao Tourist Board. The main goal of the session was to highlight the importance of the North American market and how we can increase our share of visitors from this market together as Curaçao. The session was attended by 23 tourism industry partners.

During his presentation Mr. Pennicook outlined the total stayover arrivals of 2018, 2019 and the first two months of 2020. Arrivals from North America have been growing steadily recording an increase of 24% during January and February 2020 compared to the same months in 2019. This growth can be attributed to a major shift in booking channels from primarily Online Travel Agencies (OTA’s) to other channels such as Tour Operators, Retail Travel Agents and direct bookings. The channel to demonstrate the biggest growth was Retail Travel Agents which was a direct result of a strategic move by CTB to better educate and support Retail Travel Agents. Thijs van der Valk from Baoase Luxury Resort, shared his best practices that work for the North American market.

Following the interactive discussion Mr. Pennicook presented trade activities and actions currently taking place in the North American market. Actions like co-op campaigns, airline marketing campaigns, webinars & virtual tradeshows, e-blasts, travel agent publications and bi-weekly conversations with trade partners. Additionally, the marketing & PR activities executed in the North American market include digital advertising campaigns, journalist visits, influencer trips and adjusted creatives to reach the new traveler.

CTB encouraged industry players to utilize all distribution channels available to grow their business. CTB will work with the overseas partners to broaden representation of the local tourism product in their various programs. At the end CTB, CHATA and CASHA committed to continue to collaborate to jointly promote the destination. According to Mr. Pennicook, “By highlighting the unique selling points of Curaçao, together we can drive significant growth in tourism arrivals from the North American market”.

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