Published On: Wed, Nov 26th, 2014

2014/2015 Winter Season, are we ready?

CHATA’s concerns with our immigration at the airport…

WillemstadWILLEMSTAD - As we are preparing for the 2014/2015 winter season CHATA recently met with its membership to discuss our plans and industry performance forecast but most importantly the areas of concerns. One of the major achievements in the tourism industry in 2014 is the increased capacity in our Airlift. Curaçao has managed to increase in seat capacity for the 2014-2015 winter season from all important gateways such as Amsterdam, Toronto, Montreal, JFK, Dusseldorf, etc.

As of December 2nd 2014, JetBlue will commence its service to Curaçao twice a week, which will be opening great new opportunities for the island out of the US market.

Our first impression is key in the tourism industry, and with great airlift growth, comes challenges that we must address. The fact is that our arrival hall of the airport is under enormous pressure during peak arrival hours. The main reason for this situation is the lack of space and capacity, but most importantly the understaffed immigration booths at the airport. With the growth in airlift on e.g. Tuesdays, we will have the arrival of 5 major airlines (KLM, Arkefly, Air Berlin, JetBlue, American Airlines) during the same time slot which will have a huge impact on our immigration arrival process.

Tourism and the arrival of these passengers are our bread and butter. It is important for us to tackle our immigration process immediately.
Our arrival hall needs to be a relaxing and welcoming experience (smooth process) for our guests, who have already gone through a process of immigration and security check from their point of departure.

CHATA has sent a letter to the Minister of Justice and Minister of Economic development addressing our concerns and requesting their  interference in making sure that our immigration staff and airport facilities are ready to take on the additional capacity. CHATA will continue to monitor this situation and hope that the government will look into this important matter.

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