WILLEMSTAD- May 19, 2020 – In a recent press conference, the Minister of Economic Development, Ms. Giselle Mc William, together with the Curaçao Tourist Board (CTB), the Curaçao Hospitality and Tourism Association (CHATA) and Curaçao Airport Holding (CAH), presented Phase 1 of a Tourism Recovery Plan. As is well known, the island’s tourism is completely paralyzed in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. The plan entails reintroducing tourism on Curaçao in a contained manner, accepting a select group to come and visit the island, thus gradually restoring economic activities and stimulating employment. The plan will allow us to start promoting Curaçao as a destination ahead of the competition.
The focus will be on the Netherlands as the primary market, considering that Curaçao is already receiving weekly flights from this country. For the recovery plan, the CTB identified six focus groups: tourists looking for an extended stay, digital nomads, those who have a second home in Curaçao, people from Curaçao living abroad, task force professionals and those opting to leave within 14 days, this group will only experience their vacation under the pre-stipulated quarantined conditions.
For Phase 1, the sales proposition will be aimed at selling packages to persons interested in travelling to Curaçao for a minimum of 7 and up to 180 days and who are willing to stay in mandatory quarantine for the first 14 days at designated accommodations. After the 14-day period, visitors will be tested for COVID-19 and, as long as the results are negative, will be free to book any other accommodation and enjoy our country, subject of course to the same rules that apply to the local community. Visitors who wish to stay for less than 14 days may enjoy their vacation only subject to the conditions that apply during the quarantine period. CHATA conducted a survey to have an indication of which hotels would be available to serve as quarantine hotels. The Ministry of Public Health, the Environment and Nature (GMN) has provided a protocol for hotels that will serve as quarantine hotels, as well as others. Hotels will be putting standard procedures in place, such as the appointment of a person in charge of the hygiene protocol. The personnel will receive training from, among others, GMN and CHATA. During the Press Conference, CHATA presented a digital copy of the ‘Best Practice Protocol Report’ to Minister Mc William. CHATA’s New Normal Committee in collaboration with Ministry of Economic Development (MEO) and GMN created this report.
The first phase of the Tourism Recovery Plan will revolve around elements that fit well with the current reality, such as tranquility, sun, sea and sand —the ingredients people need to be able to “recharge.” The CTB’s promotion will present Curaçao as a safe haven, a sanctuary; somewhere you can escape to and be far away from all that is happening. The promotion will feature the message; Curaçao, your home away from home, now available. The promotional plan includes digital campaigns, newspaper ads in the Netherlands, as well as press releases to the Dutch media.
Upon arrival at the Curaçao International Airport, passengers will go through check-in procedures already in place, handled by the Ministry of GMN’s personnel. All passengers will have to follow the airport’s hygiene directions. Signs have been placed at different locations in the airport, informing passengers on the social-distancing and other hygiene procedures in place.
Minister Mc William stated in conclusion that, for the plan to succeed, good teamwork and strict hygiene procedures are a must. The concept will be rolled out on a small and controlled scale and, based on continuous evaluations, be gradually extended to other accommodations and markets. Together we can continue working out Curaçao’s economic recovery. We must reopen our tourism—smartly and safely.