National Tourism Conference: Tourism, Curaçao’s number one priority
Minister of Economic Development, Dr. Steven Martina officially opened the National Tourism Conference on Wednesday September 26. ‘We are faced with possibilities, disguised as difficulties. It takes a leader to see the difference.’ And the Minister is sure CTB and CHATA are showing that leadership by working together implementing the
Tourism Master Plan. Besides Product and Air Lift development, Marketing is a key part of the master plan and together with all stakeholders a new branding for the destination was developed. This thorough development process took the perspective of the visitors to Curaçao as starting point.
Miles Mercera, CEO of the hospitality branch organization CHATA hopes the conference can conclude in making tourism the number one priority for Curaçao. 'We have to move fast, the answer the call of tourism.' Mercera summed big challenges like the current big unemployment and the low profitability of our tourism sector Curaçao has to address as a whole, to make tourism a driving force
of the economy. Greg Klassen from Canada was one of the international speakers at the conference. In his key note address, “Canada’s Path to Tourism Competitiveness” he explained how Canada understood the client of today wants to have an experience of exploring and used this in their branding in a very successful way. Julie-Anne Burrowes addressed in her key note “New Generation Cruising” the importance of sustainable cruise options. Passengers are demanding this and we have to provide this. Curaçao has a big potential in cruise tourism, but important actions are needed.
The need to maintain Curaçaos authenticity was mentioned in several of the concurrent sessions. Be it to create an unforgivable experience for MICE visitors, in preserving our physical environment. The whole sector see the need of an all including Tourism Law and is prepared to participate. But the
Government expects some self-regulation too. The organizers of the National Tourism Conference, Curaçao Tourist Board (CTB), in collaboration with the Ministry of Economic Development (MEO), the Curaçao Hospitality and Tourism Association (CHATA), Curaçao Ports Authority (CPA) and Bureau Telecommunicatie & Post (BT&P) hopes all stakeholders leave the conference inspired to pull together to realize Curaçaos' full tourism potential.