Visitor arrival trend impacted by volatile Venezuelan market
European and South American regions recorded growth in June
WILLEMSTAD – After the positive developments of the first five months, the Curaçao Tourist Board (CTB) has now recorded a decline in visitor arrivals for the month of June. The total number of stay over arrivals decreased by 8%in June, dropping from 33.084 in June 2014 to 30.475 in June 2015. This 8% decrease equals 2.609 less visitors. Despite the fact that both the European and North American regions recorded firm growth in June 2015, the decrease in the South American region could not be compensated. The fall in arrivals from Venezuela has resulted in negative overall growth for Curaçao in the past month of June.
Traffic from the European region registered a good performance with 7.7% more visitors in June 2015. The region provided a total of 12.981 stay over arrivals compared to the 12.050 recorded in June 2014. The main producing country, The Netherlands recorded a 7% increase with 9.958 in June 2015 compared to 9.300 in 2014. The increase out of Germany resulted in 19% more visitors this year. A total of 1.416 visitors were registered. Last year recorded 1.194 German visitors.
The North American region was up by 25.11% from 4.743 stay over visitors in June 2014 to 5.934 stay over visitors in June 2015. The United Stated with 5.324 stay over arrivals recorded a 17% increase. The information gathered from the Embarkation cards show that a total of 18.7% of all the US visitors are residing in New York. The next largest group is from the State of Florida (17.7%), followed by Texas (7.7%, New Jersey (6.3%) and California (5.9%). Canada recorded an exponential growth of 208% with 610 stay over arrivals this June 2015. Last year June registered only 198 stay over visitors. The increase is directly attributable to the year-round service from Toronto with Air Canada rouge. The Curaçao Tourist Board forecasts further growth from Canada this year. In the effort to establish continued growthfrom this region, the combined marketing actions with partners in the tourism industry are set to book a significant improvement in the performance of the North American market.
The South American market recorded a 32.44% decrease in June 2015, with a total of 7.513 stay over arrivals compared to 11.121 in 2014. The strong demand from Venezuela has been reversed after the positive performance during the first quarter of 2015. The months January, February and March grew compared to the same months in 2014 by, respectively 51%, 45% and 66%. As of April 10th, the Venezuelan Government established new foreign currency restrictions which further limited the availability of an access to dollars required for travel. CTB had already seen a slight decrease in the months April and May respectively of 6% and 7% less visitors. June registered a 46% decrease from Venezuela. A total of 4.348 visitors were counted in June 2015, compared to the 8.091 visitor arrivals of last year. The decrease recorded in June 2015 reflects the impact of the new government regulations. Through close monitoring of the situation in Venezuela of the past months, the CTB already expected a downturn in arrivals and prepared to step up marketing efforts in growth markets like the USA, Canada, Holland, Germany and Colombia. Visitor arrivals from Brazil and Suriname registered respectively 12% and 5% less visitors in June. In absolute figures CTB registered 545 and 724 visitor arrivals from Brazil and Suriname.
Traffic from Colombia grew by 20% in June, a total of 1.137 visitors were counted. The CTB continues the focus in its marketing efforts to deliver better results from Brazil and Colombia with the two weekly non-stop flights from Manaus, Brazil with InselAir as of July 3rd and the elimination of the Colombia visa as of July 1st. The potential for growth from both South American countries is positive for the second half of this year.