Curaçao well represented at New York Times travel show
NEW YORK - As tens of thousands of visitors from around the world flocked to the New York Times’ annual Travel Show this weekend, they had a chance to learn about the island at the booth staffed by the Curaçao Tourist Board and hotel properties.
“This is a great place to meet people planning to go to Curaçao,” said André Rojer, North American marketing manager for the Tourist Board who led the delegation of hotel representatives and Tourist Board staff.
He noted that in a crowded field of more than 30 tourist destinations in the Caribbean, that creativity is required to be effective at building Curaçao’s brand recognition. “You have to stand out to be effective. “In New York, we’ve had the batido truck in August and hosted a number of travel agent events.”
Rojer added that taxi-roof displays, advertising in subway stations and online and social media campaigns are also a part of the promotion strategy.
The #RightNowInCuracao Instagram campaign was very popular. People were asked to submit photos of themselves related to Curaçao. Thumbnail prints of those photos were then posted on a board to make a beach collage.
Lisa Wahl and her daughter came from New Jersey to find out more about Caribbean travel destinations, especially Curaçao. They take two or three vacations each year and visited Aruba last year. “We never felt so relaxed,” she said. “We’re hoping to find something even better this year.”
Maritza Molina, sales and marketing director at the Renaissance, answered questions by visitors considering Curaçao as a travel destination. “Most people ask about the weather and the best time to go,” she said. “I tell them the best time is all year.”
She noted that typical show attendees considering Curaçao want an experience beyond the usual. “They want to know about more than just the beaches.”
Attendees considering Curaçao are also interested in niche travel experiences, according to Rojer.
Diving, Jewish heritage, African-American, family and honeymoon considerations are among the specialty experiences Curaçao provides. Curaçao is also a popular destination for LGBT travel. With 17 members, Curaçao has the largest number of International Gay & Lesbian Travel Association members in the Caribbean.
“It’s important to have this booth, working face to face with travelers, not just pictures on a website,” Rojer said. When asked about the ideal Curaçao traveler, he commented “we’re looking for adventurous people.”
By James Ogden for Curaçao Chronicle