Tourism expert: “Locals can make tourists feel at home”
WILLEMSTAD – During a recently held press conference, the former Tourism Minister of Bahamas and former President of the Caribbean Tourism Organization, Mr. Vincent Vanderpool-Wallace stated that the local community can ensure that visitors can have a great experience by just being themselves. “Maybe as locals you do not see it, but visitors who come as tourists do see a nice mix of wonderful people.”
Curaçao has more than 150,000 residents with 52 different nationalities. When tourists come to know the people they see the beauty on the inside,” said Vanderpool-Wallace.
The press conference was organized by the Ministry of Economic Development (MEO) and the topic was the tourism figures in the first quarter. Vanderpool-Wallace gave an update on the implementation of the Strategic Master Plan (STMP) 2015-2020. He is the project manager. Minister of Tourism, Eugene Rhuggenaath was also present together with stakeholders such as the Curaçao Hotel and Tourism Association (CHATA) and the Curaçao Tourist Board (CTB).
A democratic dialogue was held on April 21 and 25 this year. During this dialogue it became clear that locals must become more aware of the master plan. “Tourists will find the residents of the island very unique. In mid-June we will start a campaign to show the community how they are seen in the eyes of the tourist. This is the Beautification and Visitor Experience component of the master plan. By being himself or herself, the local can make the tourist feel great and very welcome,” said Vanderpool-Wallace.