WILLEMSTAD - The Curaçao Tourist Board (CTB) is reporting 265,000 stayover visitor arrivals for the year 2021. Overall stayover arrivals performance started slow in the first 5 months of the year. CTB saw an increase in stayover arrivals as of June 2021, especially from our main producing country The Netherlands. We recorded record breaking number of visitors from Holland in combination with visitor arrivals from other main regions, resulting in a spectacular second half of the year. With these arrivals, the year 2021 achieved 57% of the pre pandemic arrivals of the 2019 year-round arrivals, when we welcomed 463,683 stayover visitors.
Overall, we have welcomed 42,281 stayover arrivals in December 2021, which is 95% recovery rate of December 2019. December is no exception, recording another record-breaking number of stayover arrivals from The Netherlands, a total of 24,062 Dutch visitors were welcomed in December 2021. For the sixth consecutive month, arrivals from the Netherlands in 2021 are surpassing arrivals in the same months in 2019. Altogether we registered 27,399 stayover visitors out of Europe. Information gathered from the Immigration Cards show that European visitors stayed 12.5 nights on average in December 2021, while the average night spent in December 2019 was 10 nights. Of these European visitors, 56% stayed in resort hotels in December.
From the North American region, we welcomed 7,719 visitors. Respectively, 6,229 and 1,490 visitors from USA and Canada. North American visitors stayed 68% in resort hotels. The average nights spent in Curaçao was 8.2, while the same month in 2019 North American visitors spent 7.4 nights.
From the South American region, we welcomed 4,808 visitors. The average nights spent in Curaçao was 8.4, while the same month in 2019 was 7.9. Of the South America arrivals, 53% and 19% came from Colombia and Brazil, respectively.
Out of the Caribbean region, we have welcomed 1,549 stayover visitors in December, primarily from the Dutch Kingdom islands.
There were 34 cruise ship calls and 61,550 cruise visitors for the month of December.
The stayover visitor arrivals performance continues to exceed the previous months. With December 2021 reaching above 40,000 stayover visitors we can proudly announce tourism recovery is on the right track, showing another best performing month in line with our pre-pandemic seasonality. We are satisfied with the progress made in the last months of the year, recuperating from the slow start. The collective effort from our local stakeholders combined with our international partners in our main markets made the last six months of the year a success. Assuming the trend continues, we forecast an even better tourism performance in 2022.