Published On: Wed, Aug 15th, 2018

Rojer: “South America to become an important market for Curaçao”

Andre RojerWILLEMSTAD - The South American market has a new marketing manager for the Curaçao Tourist Board (CTB). Mr. Andre Rojer has recently been appointed to that market after his work in that same position but for the North American area. His appointment to this market indicates that the CTB wants to put more focus on the South American market which was basically untouched territory for the Curaçao tourism sector with the exception of Venezuela of course.

This was the reason for Curaçao Chronicle to interview Andre about his efforts to promote the island and bring more tourists from countries such as Colombia, Brazil, Chile, Argentina and Uruguay.

According to Andre, South America is a very traditional continent in general. With thisAndre Rojer_Presentation statement, he means the way the people in that continent do things, the way they behave or even see things. “This is all in general of course. There are a lot of people who still use travel agents while millennial use online OTA’s (online travel agents). So we have to go to the next level,” said Andre.

With this stamen, ‘go to the next level’, Andre means that the CTB has to go differently about its public relations campaign in that continent. “We have to be more creative, innovative and we have to surprise the market.”

According to Andre, the secret is to be present online. “We have to invest heavily on this. Everything is in your phone. People use their phone for everything now. Curaçao must be also present. When they are stuck in traffic when in a meeting or doing whatever, Curaçao must be there for them to see. This is not a business anymore to write press releases. We have to change the way we represent our country. It’s not just a small company, it’s a country. A country that has food, music, culture, architecture and history. Those things you cannot display them in a press release. You need to show them to the people in those markets.”

Andre has been changing all that in those markets. Showing Curaçao’s colors to the travel agents, the airline and hotel executives and PR firms. Curaçao already sees a huge change in the number of visitors from the South American market.

“What we do know is that when people attend travel events, we present them what Curaçao is all about. We have thematic tables, sand, food, beach balls, liquor, music etc. so we bring a piece of the island to them. They were so used to traditionalism, and now that they see something different of course they get excited about visiting the island,” said Andre.

South America team

South America team

The same experience Andre offered to the North American market, he is now presenting for South America. He gives the people the opportunity to taste and feel how it is to be in Curaçao. This is what he meant by going to the next level. The CTB campaign #RightNowCuraçao is very successful in South America.

“South America deserves more airlift, and that is what we are working on. Look at Avianca and Copa, they increased their operations to the island. Now there is a better connection for the people of Brazil for example.”

Andre believes that Colombia and Brazil could become very important markets for Curaçao. Brazil has potential and it is a big country. But to the question what Brazilians might be looking for in Curaçao since they also have beautiful beaches and great food, Andre indicated that the Brazilians want to get a break for the ordinary. They live in a country that is big, lots of traffic, pollution and newspapers showing violence and corruption every day. They want to get away from that. “In Curaçao, they can unplug from every day. Do you remember the campaign break away from the everyday? I asked them this and they told me it is about the sentiment of going away to someplace else. Even from Rio de Janeiro which has everything. They want to leave for a few days. Here in Curaçao they don’t harass you when you are at a beach, they don’t push you to buy things, there is no stress when buying souvenirs. It's very relaxed. You know that we have even Brazilian celebrities visiting the island and they walk around and nobody is bothering them. That is something they cannot do in their country.”

Part 2 of this article will be published tomorrow.

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