Willemstad – June 9, 2021 – During a press conference today, the Curaçao Tourist Board represented by CTB’s CEO Paul Pennicook presented the latest updates in Curaçao’s tourism arrivals, airlift scenario and the key marketing initiatives currently being executed in the main markets. The press conference opened with a welcome word by the Minister of Economic Development, Dr. Steven Martina underlining the importance of the tourism sector to further boost economic development.
Tourist arrivals 2020
CTB reported 2020 was a difficult year due to the Covid-19 pandemic. On a global scale a 74% drop in international tourism was recorded in 2020. While the Caribbean region saw an average decline of 67%, Curaçao had a decline of 62% in 2020. Since travel restrictions were lifted in July 2020 Curaçao started registering growth on a monthly basis. Unfortunately, due to the negative travel advice announced by the Dutch Government at the beginning of December 2020 placing Curaçao on code orange the tourist arrivals started registering a decline.
Tourist arrivals Q1 & Q2, 2021
The code orange designation had a negative impact on arrivals from the Netherlands for the first four months of 2021.Nonetheless, because of the USA, tourist arrivals picked up slowly registering 10,118 tourist arrivals for the month of March 2021. However, in April 2021 a major decline was registered (3,520) due to the imposed lockdown last week of March 2021 as a consequence of an upsurge in coronavirus cases over that period.
For the month of May, the CTB is reporting 8,843 stayover visitors. We welcomed 5,440 European visitors with 4,792 coming from The Netherlands and 222 coming from Germany. Of these European visitors, 44% stayed in resort hotels. The average stay for Europeans was 13.5 nights, compared to 9.0 nights in May 2019. That is a 50% increase in the length of stay. From the USA, we welcomed 2,232. Traffic from the USA is moving in a positive direction, because visitors from all 50 states can now visit Curaçao. From South America, we welcomed 350 visitors, 60% of whom came from Colombia. We also welcomed 473 stayover visitors from the Caribbean. These visitors came primarily from the Dutch Kingdom islands. Additionally, for the first 7 days of June, 4,398 stayover arrivals have been registered. Having gone through a very difficult March and April with Covid-19 in our primary source market, the Netherlands, as well as locally, it is really good to see arrivals picking up again. It is beginning to look promising for the “Summer” commented Paul Pennicook.
Connectivity of scheduled flights to Curaçao
The CTB announces an updated airlift schedule for the upcoming months. This includes increased frequencies and new flights to Curaçao. This improved schedule will increase the potential for growth in visitor arrivals for the upcoming months and the rest of 2021.
Increased flight frequency and current flight schedule
Starting July, KLM and TUI out of Amsterdam will be increasing their flight frequency. KLM will increase its flight frequency from daily to double daily while TUI will increase from 5 flights per week to 12 flights per week also starting July. For North America, American Airlines out of Miami is executing daily flights and 1 flight per week out of Charlotte. Furthermore, jetBlue is executing 3 flights per week out of New York. Additionally, Avianca is executing 2 flights per week from Bogotá, while COPA started last Saturday with 2 flights per week out of Panama and will be increasing to 4 flights per week as of July 2021. Wingo will also restart in July with 2 flights per week from Bogotá. Out of Caribbean, Divi Divi Air, EZ Air, Winair, Air Century, Sky High, AirCaribe and Jetair Caribbean are executing scheduled flights to several destinations in the Caribbean region.
New flights to Curaçao
Starting July, Air Belgium will be executing twice weekly flights to Curaçao via Martinique. While LukeAir will introduce weekly flights from Poland. In addition to its scheduled flights Jetair Caribbean will introduce direct flights to and from Kingston, Jamaica also starting July 2021.
Furthermore some ongoing marketing initiatives for the Netherlands, USA and Belgium were highlighted during the Press Conference.