Tromp: “Tourism is growing slowly compared to Caribbean”
WILLEMSTAD – According to the President of the Central Bank of Curaçao and Sint Maarten (CBCS), Dr. Emsley Tromp, tourism in Curaçao is growing too slowly. This is compared with other countries in the Caribbean. “We are left behind when it comes to the growth in the tourism sector,” said the CBCS President during the Conference of the Curaçao Hospitality and Tourism Association (CHATA).
“I firmly believe that for small open economies like ours, tourism, which is a thriving industry, provides a solid foundation for growth. Suffice it to note that while Curacao’s economic growth has averaged a disappointing 0.6% over the past 10 years, stay-over tourism in Curaçao has increased by an average of 8.1%. Today it is the country’s most important industry in terms of real value added, foreign exchange earnings, and employment. The question now becomes, can we shape a better future for our tourism industry and make it the driver for economic growth? Or put differently: do we still have room for more growth in the tourism sector?”
Tromp said that he’s convinced that the island has more room to grow. “However, we need to keep in mind that success in this industry depends, among other things, on our ability to remain an attractive destination. In addition, this industry is very susceptible to changes in the external environment. Conditions can change in the blink of an eye. Consequently, we need to continuously enhance our ability to adjust to this changing environment. At the same time, to achieve a higher growth path we need to address some important issues in our economy.”
In 2014, tourism generated approximately US$ 1.4 trillion in global foreign exchange income, approximately 30% of the export of services. According to the World Travel and Tourism Council, tourism contributed 9% of global GDP and global employment. Tourism has risen significantly in recent years and the World Trade Organization (WTO) expects this trend to continue, reaching 1.8 billion tourists by the end of 2030.
Tourism is the most important pillar of the Curaçao economy. This sector directly contributes 9.2% of GDP and 9.6% of employment. Moreover, 26.5% of foreign exchange earnings from the export of goods and services are generated by the tourism industry. The industry also has indirect spin-off effects across all sectors of the economy, particularly the hotels & restaurants, wholesale & retail trade and transportation sectors. Furthermore, the tourism sector contributes to the economy in terms of investments and government income. In this context, the tourism industry is highly labor intensive and, therefore, creates opportunities for many small and medium enterprises that provide goods and services to this industry.
Click on the link below for Tromp's speech.