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CHATA & CASHA publish the tourism figures for the month of September

Concerns about the effect of QR entrance measures

Willemstad, October 26, 2021 – CHATA & CASHA publish the figures regarding hotels, alternative agreements, car rentals and diving schools together to create a broader and balanced picture.

CASHA reporting occupancy and turnover figures

Our CASHA members can finally look more positively towards the future. Once again, they can do what they are good at, which is to receive happy tourists that can enjoy their holiday, go to the beaches, and enjoy a drink on a terrace or a restaurant.

September is normally a better month for apartments and small resorts than August, since families usually opt for larger hotels and resorts. However, this year it was different, September was a less fortunate month for many accommodations compared to August. There were speculations of cancellations, but they were less than the month before. This was mainly due to the requirement implemented by the Government that the PCR test had to be completed 48 hours prior to departure. This couldn’t be carried out by many Americans, not to mention that the mandatory 3rd day antigen test won’t allow them to enjoy their holiday for the first 3 days and therefore they wouldn’t come to our island.

The average occupancy at CASHA’s properties was 57.1% in September 2021, which is a decrease of 7.3% from August. However, for most the turnover has increased slightly compared to August. We are still dealing with guests whose stay was already paid in 2019 or early 2020 and therefore do not create any turnover. For some, this number amounted to 50% of the total occupancy. Many accommodations still have bookings that have been paid but still need to be completed. Tourists keep asking for shifts because of the current corona entry rules on Curaçao.

The outlook for October and November is mixed.

It seems that October will bring roughly the same occupancy as September for many accommodations. November is looking much brighter at the moment. A lot of trips are being booked and some members are already fully booked.

Dive schools are on average on 50% of the normally performed dives. A lot is booked last minute, but also canceled easily. They also feel very strongly that tourists who are on the island do not dare to plan anything for the first 4 days because of the 3rd day antigen test.

The car rental companies indicate that it rents out an average of 80% of the capacity and is of course very satisfied.

The boat charters and tours in general also look back to September with a positive feeling. The boat charters indicate that they were fully booked for September under the permitted restrictions.

CHATA report hotel occupancy figures

The CHATA hotel presentation for the month of September compared to the pre-COVID-19 occupancy figures show a slight difference of -2.7%. This means that September has once again been a good month for the larger hotels.

Despite the pandemic the world is still in, July and August showed exceptional recovery figures; July 2021 performed even better than July 2019. This was largely due to the summer holiday period, and also that Dutch tourists were still reimbursed for their COVID-19 tests by the Government; especially for families, this is an important argument for whether or not to go on holiday. The relatively high vaccination coverage on the island has also contributed, and the situation surrounding new cases and patients with COVID in the hospital are under control. All these arguments are factors which determine whether a tourist visits our beautiful island.

Normally, September is a month with slightly lower occupancy rates at the larger hotels due to the low season. Despite that, CHATA is pleased to see that the difference compared to September 2019 has become so minimal (-2.7%), although this can’t compensate for the poor first half of the year. More importantly, the recovery trend seems to be continuing with all eyes on December which is usually one of the best months of the year for Curaçao.

Below you will find the three columns comparing 2021 to 2020 and 2019, on which the larger hotels are measured their presentations:

September202120202021 vs. 202020192021 vs. 2019
Occ.65%33.2%+95.7%66.8%-2.7%
ADR$173.57$127.65+36%$138.46+25.3%
RevPAR$112.74$37.57+200%$92.44+21.9%

*Smith Travel Research (STR) is the leading global provider of competitive benchmarking, information services and research to the hotel industry.

In September of 2021 Curaçao’s larger hotels had a hotel occupancy of 65%. Compared to 2020 (33.2%) this is an increase of 95.7%. More so, if we look at the occupancy data pre-COVID (September 2019), this is only a 2.7% decrease. The average daily rate also increased with 36% compared to 2020, to $173.57. Compared to September of 2019, this is also an increase of 25.3%. As for the revenue per available room, numbers indicate a significant increase of 200% compared to 2020. From $37.57 in 2020 to $112.74 in 2021. Even compared to the pre-COVID data, the revenue per available room increased with 21.9%. Curaçao also has the second highest hotel occupancy compared to the other Caribbean destinations, while the Caribbean is showing the strongest recovery worldwide. In short, a clear and strong recovery is noticeable even compared to other Caribbean holiday destinations.

Recovery is still very fragile

Last year during the first recovery analysis for the tourism sector, it was expected that it would take 1-3 years for the sector to recover and return to performances like early 2020. It is only since July this year that we have really started to see signs of recovery. Interestingly so, the recovery is happening faster than expected, however countless losses have been incurred and everything is still very fragile.

Concerns about the effect of QR entrance measures

CHATA and CASHA and its members are concerned that the recently announced measures surrounding the introduction of the QR code are being implemented too abruptly. There are also positive reports that, for example, we can welcome vaccinated tourists from October 27 with fewer tests, provided they can submit a QR code. However, despite the positive signs, there is also unrest among the members of both interest groups. Curaçao is one of the holiday countries that is high on the list during the winter period, but will this remain so, as we are the only country still requiring 2 tests from vaccinated tourists whose vaccination proof does not include a QR code?

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