Curaçao is on the up and up. The Curaçao Tourist Board (CTB) recently reported a 17 percent increase in 2019 stayover arrivals to date, with all markets showing positive growth.
While Europe continues to serve as Curaçao’s primary feeder market, South America has shown a 31 percent increase for winter 2019. Additional airlift has played an integral role, the CTB reports. On April 11, Wingo launched twice-weekly service from Bogota to Curaçao, while, in the last year, Avianca added four additional flights from Bogota. Together, these moves boosted stayover arrivals from Colombia by 52 percent. COPA Airlines is also operating seven weekly flights to Curaçao from Panama, compared to four flights per week in 2018.
The North American market continues to flourish with a 19 percent increase for winter 2019. The double-digit growth is attributed to a 21 percent jump in U.S. arrivals; the CTB attributes this to its aggressive strategy to target both emerging and established markets in the States. Demand from Florida, for example, is up 54 percent, while demand from Texas and Virginia, two newer markets, is up 33 percent and 54 percent, respectively.
Looking to shift the demand to emphasize the American market, the tourist board rolled out a new global branding campaign with the help of its New York-based advertising agency. Most recently, they re-designed the destination’s website, Curacao.com, to appeal to a modern, adventure-seeking traveler. Now, visitors can select from curated, one-, three-, five- and 10-day itineraries that tap into the destination’s culture, city life and culinary scene. The new website also makes it easier for potential visitors to search hotels and resorts, as well as vacation rentals, attractions and events, such as the upcoming North Sea Jazz Festival (NSJF).
In its ninth year, the NSJF is a three-day event that includes headliners Mariah Carey, Maroon 5, Pitbull and Ozuna—a move that the tourist board anticipates will carry the forward momentum through the summer and into the fall. Also on the horizon is the re-opening of the Curaçao Marriott, a two-year project that is expected to drive additional business from North America.