WILLEMSTAD - Curaçao has seen a surge in stayover arrivals for the month of August 2023, recording a 16% increase compared to the same period last year. With a total of 49,258 stayover arrivals, August has firmly secured its place as the second-best month of the year, following closely behind July, which welcomed 50,937 visitors.
Year-to-date statistics reveal an impressive performance for Curaçao's tourism industry, with a cumulative total of 373,068 stayover arrivals in 2023. This figure represents a substantial 17% growth when compared to the 318,432 stayover arrivals during the same period in 2022.
The image below shows the monthly performance of 2023 compared to the monthly target and last year’s arrivals.
Stayover arrivals August 2023:
What truly sets this month apart is the exceptional success of two source markets, the United States of America and Brazil, both of which have shattered historical records. These countries have already surpassed the number of arrivals recorded in eight months; a feat previously achieved in an entire calendar year.
From the United States of America, Curaçao has welcomed a remarkable total of 94,275 arrivals in the first eight months of 2023. This achievement surpasses the previous best-performing year for US visitors, which saw 93,428 arrivals throughout all of 2022.
Brazil has also achieved record-breaking results. In the first eight months of 2023, Curaçao registered a total of 14,398 Brazilian visitors, surpassing the previous record of 13,446 Brazilian arrivals in 2019. With four months remaining in the year, the Curaçao Tourist Board anticipates that both source markets will continue to demonstrate spectacular arrival numbers by year-end. This remarkable performance is outcome to the consistency of our marketing strategies and the collaborative efforts with our partners in the industry.
Additionally, Curaçao now offers a wider variety of resorts on the island and brings out great demand for travel to Curaçao. Our airline partners responded to this great demand, which led to increased seat capacity, or new service to our destination.
The Netherlands, experienced a slight downturn, recording 9% fewer stayover arrivals, with a total of 17,146 Dutch arrivals in August 2023. The performance of the European region fell by 12%. Nevertheless, the tourist arrivals from the North American region increased by 44%. In total 13,524 North American visitors were recorded, of which 11,834 are residents from the United States of America.
There is also a substantial rise in visitor arrivals out of South America, as the CTB reports a 60% growth in arrivals. In absolute numbers we welcomed 10,477 South American visitors in August. The Caribbean region also shows growth, recording 44% more visitors than last year; 3,830 visitors from the neighboring islands.
The image below shows the performance of each region compared to last year, including the share of the total arrivals.
Top 5 countries:
Altogether the top 5 countries’ market share in arrivals for August 2023 was 73%. Despite the decline from the Netherlands, the country remains the main source market in tourist arrivals. 17,146 Dutch visitors are registered in August. Regardless of recording less Dutch visitors compared to August 2022, CTB reports that arrivals from Holland are higher compared to August 2019, when we recorded 15,860 Dutch visitors. The United States of America, Canada, Brazil, and Colombia recorded strong growth in August.
The image below shows the performance of the top 5 countries, including their top 3 states of residence of our visitors.
Accommodation type, average nights, and demographics:
Information gathered from the Immigration card shows that altogether visitors spent 8.2 nights on average in August. The Dutch visitor average night spent in August was 11.1 nights. The US and Brazilian average nights in August were 6 and 7.1 nights, respectively. Sixty-two percent of all the visitors stayed in resort hotels. Many of the visitors who travelled in August are between 25 and 44 years old (38%) and 45 and 64 years old (30%). The images below illustrate the accommodation and demographics of the tourists who travelled to Curaçao in August 2023.
The diversification of different source markets to Curaçao is in line with CTB’s marketing strategy, as it brings great business opportunities for the private sector to the island. The US and Brazilian visitors have a shorter length of stay however, they are the group of visitors who spent on average more on island compared to the other visitors. The US and Brazilian visitors spent respectively $270 and $351 per person per day. It is the right set of circumstances for the local private sector, we are welcoming more visitors compared to previous years. The distinction is, we are welcoming less Dutch visitors compared to last year, however this does not mean we need to use this only metric to draw adverse conclusions for the tourism industry. Curaçao offers a wider product nowadays which varies from place of stay, gastronomy, and attractions. This gives our guests more options to choose from, which in the end is also better for the overall island experience.