6000 rooms is not enough… We are missing the all inclusive components
WILLEMSTAD - The Curaçao Hospitality & Tourism sector is poised for steady growth during 2015-18. According to the latest figures of 2015, we will welcome a total of +/- 12.870 flights (inbound) this year, which equals a total of +/- 1.164.440 (million) seats entering our destination. This represents a great opportunity for the island of Curaçao. CHATA’s analysis of our current island room inventory concludes that we have a total of 6000 rooms on island. (50% Hotel rooms & 50% Apartments/Villas) CHATA firmly believes that we are in a unique tourism growth momentum. This growth momentum means that we must invest in our product with a focus on our existing and future hotel rooms. TUI (Arke) recently confirmed in a presentation held for the sector that Airlines and Tour operators will surely follow the hotel rooms. Many destinations around the world invest in their product by developing rooms on the island before pursuing airlift opportunities.
We are missing high quality “All Inclusive” hotel rooms says, President & CEO, Ms. Lizanne Dindial. All Inclusive hotels bring in the needed volume and gives the island purchasing power towards potential airline service. The demand from a consumers’ perspective is still to have as they say in Dutch “"onbezorgdevakanties", no headache, no budget concerns etc. which basically refers to Hassle free vacations, or an all inclusive package.
CHATA has also taken note of the ambitious goals presented by island partner TUI. We want to grow to double daily flights, or 16 flights per week in the coming years says’ Steven van Nieuwenhuijzen - Deputy CEO TUI Netherlands. This is a huge opportunity for the island that is part of the growth momentum. CHATA believes that it is important for us to move the sector into thinking strategically on the future. The Curaçao tourism industry is in a stage where we need to add additional rooms to be able to guarantee a double-digit growth in our tourism arrivals figures. Additional rooms must be planned for and in this case we have received a clear message that the rooms need to be built based on the needs and wants of our future consumers.
It is a fact that Curaçao is not an all-inclusive destination and will never be categorized as such either, but one or two additional high quality (branded) all inclusive properties will stimulate overflow of visitors, demand, airlift and our local labor force.
CHATA’s Analysis also confirms that we must not rely on the Dutch market for our tourism growth. Diversification is a must and diversification in other European, North American and South American markets must be our focus for the coming 5 years. Secondary markets such as Belgium, Germany, Scandinavia, UK, Toronto Canada, USA Tri-State, Sao Paulo, Brazil are all markets with great growth potential for the island, these markets will be the driving force in our overall tourism arrival numbers in the coming years. We need to invest in maintaining our important source markets but also strategically invest in opening new markets for the island that fit with our product offerings.