May 2016 recording 8% decrease

...Year to Date Economic Impact of $ 217.3 million dollars...
WILLEMSTAD - June 29th 2016 - At the start of the tourism low season, the Curaçao Tourist Board (CTB) is reporting a drop in visitor arrivals for the month of May 2016. We see year-on-year performance falling by 8%. Precisely, in total, 2.689 fewer visitors were registered this month, bringing the total count to 30.932 visitors against 33.621 in the same month last year. The decrease in visitor arrivals is visible across the board with all regions booking negative growth. May, as we know, is traditionally one of the low season months and is generally characterized by a slowdown in visitor arrivals.

The main producing region, Europe, represented a significant 45.3% share of all visitors to Curaçao in May 2016. Last year, its share was 44.6%. The region provided a total of 14.013 stay over arrivals compared to the 14.981 recorded in May 2015. The main producing country, The Netherlands recorded a 7% decrease with 11.106 visitors in May 2016 compared to 11.991 in 2015. Germany remained stable with a 0% change in May 2016. A total of 1.558 visitors were registered. From Belgium a 14% increase is recorded representing in absolute numbers 355 visitor arrivals.

The region ranked second in terms of visitor arrival numbers, South America, recorded a decrease of 16%. A total of 7.401 stay over arrivals compared to 8.760 in 2015. From Venezuela a total of 4.353 visitors are registered, reflecting a 21% decrease. Secondary markets in South America registered increases in the number of arrivals. Brazil and Colombia show respectively a 20% and 22% growth in stay over arrivals. Colombia is demonstrating more stability and less volatility when compared to other important South American markets like Venezuela and Brazil.

Stay over arrivals from North America declined by 16% in May with a total of 5.068 visitors compared to the 6.056 visitor arrivals in May 2015. The United States with 4.428 stay over arrivals recorded 13% less visitors. Canada recorded a 34% decrease with 640 stay over arrivals this May 2016. Both countries recorded a drop in arrivals, thereby confirming the onset of the low season for both. Presently, in accordance with the strategic recommendations of the Tourism Master Plan 2015-2020, a short term as well as longer term plan is being developed by the tourism sector. Certainly, a main objective is to accelerate tourism growth out of the North American region, in particular the US market.

In terms of visitor nights an 11% decrease is registered. A total of 237.251 nights are registered in May 2016. The European region holds 60.3% share of all visitor nights in May. From Europe a total of 143.058 nights are counted in May 206. The North American and South American regions both recorded 26% less visitor nights compared to May 2015. On average all visitors in May stayed 7.7 nights, while last year the visitors stayed 7.9 nights.

Year to Date: Visitor Nights, Accommodation and Economic Impact
The first five months of the year 2016 is showing a cumulative 2% growth in stay over arrivals. This growth is mainly attributable to the performance of the European, North American and Caribbean regions in the period from January through to May of this year. The European market delivered the largest relative growth at 8%, North America remained stable at 0% and the Caribbean region did well at 3%.The South American region decreased recording 8% less visitors.

In terms of visitor nights CTB reports 7% decrease during the first five months of 2016. The preliminary statistics show a total of 1.536.083 nights in this period. Last year, the CTB registered 1.645.269 visitor nights. The only region recording increase in the number of nights spent for the first five months of the year is Europe. In total, Europeans spent 910.319 nights in Curaçao, good for a 2% growth. The North American, South American and Caribbean region recorded 6%, 25% and 11% less visitor nights during the first five months of 2016.

The information gathered from the Embarkation/ Disembarkation Cards shows that 56% (109.701 visitors) of the stay over visitors stayed at one of the registered accommodations in Curaçao. The share of arrivals among large hotels, small hotels and bungalows is respectively 27%, 12%, 18%. The number of visitors that stayed at other accommodation is 86.193. This is 44% of the overall arrivals.

Utilizing the ‘Turistika Model’, CTB and MEO calculated that year to date the tourism sector was directly responsible for generating $217.3 million US dollars into the local economy. European visitors are responsible for 50.2% of the total expenditure on island. Altogether, Europeans spent a total of $ 109 million US dollars. They were followed by North Americans, who spent $ 51.6 million US dollars and South Americans who spent $43.6 million US dollars. The rest of the visitors spent $13.1 million US dollars in the first five months of 2016.

Stayover Arrivals May 2016
Click here to access the 'Tourism Insight' active report May 2016.