A 17th-century cannon stands guard over the Willemstad harbor in Curacao. Photo Credit: Gay Nagle Myers
WILLEMSTAD, Curacao — U.S. arrivals are up 14% year-to-date, new weekly airlift on American from Charlotte begins Dec. 20 and a $40 million harbor development over the next two years could see the arrival of 1 million cruise passengers by 2020, up from the current 550,000 per year, according to Andre Rojer, North American marketing manager, Curacao Tourism Board.
In a media briefing during CTO's annual State of the Industry Conference taking place here this week, Rojer reported that Curacao's five-year Tourism Master Plan, unveiled in September, focuses on doubling tourism arrivals, improving air access within the Caribbean region to/from Curacao, upgrading hotels, expanding inventory and increasing events and attractions.
"Our focus is on attracting funding and investment, increasing room stock, upgrading facilities and adding attractions and events that will entice travelers across all markets," Rojer said.
"We're not famous for our beaches, but we have many hidden ones along the calm southwestern coast. We have more than just prime dive sites, [Unesco] World Heritage Sites, Dutch Colonial architecture and offshore banking. We are becoming a big player in cruising, culinary options, high-end shopping and the development of niche markets," he said.