Tourism a strong pillar of our economy
WILLEMSTAD- During a press conference, the Curaçao Tourism Board (CTB) gave information on the success in 2014 on airlift, marketing and product development which contributed to the growth of the island’s tourism. The CTB explained the system of compiling statistical data and income generated by room tax. Furthermore, they spoke about some important initiative for 2015. The Minister of Economic Development, Stanley Palm, Interim Director of the CTB, Hugo Clarinda and the President of the Board of Directors, Jeanette Hooi-Bonet were present during the press conference.
The CTB spoke about the growth of tourism in the Caribbean from 2004 till 2014. They quoted an analysis made by the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO), which states that Curaçao is one of the Caribbean islands, which has seen the largest average increase in tourism percentagewise. Minister Palm elaborated on the economic impact the tourism sector has for the island. In 2004 a total of 222.424 tourists stayed on the island while in 2014 this number was 453.270. The Department of Economic Development calculated a direct impact of 763.5 million guilders for the local economy of the island.
During 2014, a total of 31% of the island’s visitors stayed at major hotels (more than 150 rooms), 53% were first time visitors, 36% booked through a travel agency, and 31% came because of recommendations from families and friends. Most of the island’s visitors are between 25 and 44 years old followed by 45 and 64 years.
Income generated from room tax in 2013 was 9.8 million guilders and in 2014 it was 12.1 million guilders, which is about 21.9% higher than the previous year. The room tax regulation is not only valid for major hotels, but also small apartments. At this moment not all apartments are paying the room tax. This is the reason why the government is working on a new tourist accommodation registration law. With the incomes generated from the room tax, CTB can execute various promotional campaigns in other countries with the aim to attract more visitors to the island.