Deputy Dick informs tourism branch on Marketplace: ‘Budweiser and disco are everywhere’

SAN JUAN — The Curaçao Tourism Bureau CTB was the first to open the Caribbean Marketplace in San Juan (Puerto Rico) with a breakfast for wholesalers, tour operators and representatives of hotels abroad. "We want to propose a toast on the New Year." During his presentation, Tourism-Deputy David Dick (PAR) emphasized the distinguishing island’s character once again.


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"Different from all others, and stable due to the bonds with the Netherlands. Curaçao also evaded the shock of the financial crisis", says Dick, who had decided to hold a speech during this tourism meeting. "Willemstad has been on the Unesco’s world inheritance list for more than ten years now. We belong to the safest destinations in the world. We have a very reliable legal system. What else could one wish for? And yes, we have sun, sea and beaches as well, but no disco and no Budweiser, as these can be found everywhere."

Carnival as product
The Deputy concluded by mentioning that we do have carnival though. "We are the first island with an international election for a carnival queen and we held such just a few days ago. Carnival will certainly grow as product."

The Deputy had just informed the traveling industry that Hyatt will open in May, even though the hotel itself had still explicitly spoken of beginning of April at the latest. "I will not mention all hotels", Dick had continued, "as you should actually see for yourself. The supply is more varied than that of any other destination in the region."
Billy Jonckheer, Vice-Chairman of hotel association Chata, had dilated upon this, "from apartment to luxurious upscale resorts, such as Baoase with eleven rooms, and Hyatt, where the golf course was designed by the architect of Pebble Beach".

North Sea Jazz Festival
Jonckheer had also told the branch a bit of news. "I know that a Caribbean holiday is difficult to sell in September. However, as of September 4th, we will have the North Sea Jazz Festival with a Caribbean edition. You should be able to sell this with an entire week of top music on Curaçao", he had addressed the approx. 75 attendants.

Research bureau Smith International concludes from research that the recovery of the regional tourism due to the crisis is expected to take some six to eight years, the Chata-representative had announced. Meanwhile, Lions Dive had had an excellent year, announced the hotel that had been represented on the Marketplace together with amongst others, Avila, Baoase, Marriott and Hyatt. It’s true that the occupancy had decreased somewhat due to the considerable room expansion, but this was substantially more in absolute numbers. Moreover, as one of the few, Lions Dive had sold against much higher prices as the new rooms fall under a higher price segment, "and people had been prepared to pay the prices".

Direct flight Puerto Rico to return

Deputy Dick, who had been in Puerto Rico for the Caribbean Marketplace in San Juan, had attempted to persuade companies to add Curaçao to the network by the end of this year.
Concrete news on airlift regarding the re-introduction of a direct flight from Puerto Rico by American Airlines (Eagle) had been announced during the opening ceremony yesterday. A weekly direct connection with Bonaire as well as Curaçao is being considered, although it is not clear when as yet.
"There will be more flights," said the Deputy this morning during a breakfast for wholesalers, tour operators and representatives of hotels abroad. In that, he only mentioned existing connections.