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Tourism numbers for the month of October

Optimism continues

Willemstad, November 24, 2021 – The associations CHATA and CASHA publish monthly the hotel performance figures, as well as for smaller organizations, car rentals and dive schools. This way they aim to provide a balanced overview of the industry performance and the recovery of the tourism and hospitality sector on Curaçao.

Performance CASHA Members

The month of October has been a good month for many CASHA-members, as the average occupancy was 65,4%. Compared to the month of September (57,1%) this is a slight increase of 8,3%. Three accommodations even scored occupancies of over 90%. The occupancy was nicely spread throughout the island with 99% in Jan Thiel, 91% in Banda Abou and 90% in Pietermaai.

The bookings for November are going well. November will be the best month yet for many. The prospects are even better than before COVID. December is also going well. There is still a clear tendency for last-minute bookings. January and February are looking good too and most of the bookings are being arranged 2-4 weeks in advance.

Also, the car rental companies are doing well, despite the shortage in cars.  There is a high demand for rental cars, however, many companies were forced to sell their cars to minimize costs during COVID.

Excursion companies are also doing very well. Most of them are fully booked. Furthermore, dive schools profit from the high occupancies of the accommodations.

Travelling is not without risk anymore

Cancelations are still a reality, however, less frequent than at the beginning of the year. The most important reasons for cancelations are: a positive test result and not being able to arrange a test in time. The last one is mostly applicable for American tourists. However, due to the rising COVID cases, the mandatory test is now also applicable for some European countries.

Many guests request a guarantee to cover the costs in case they are not able to travel anymore. Usually this requires an additional travel insurance, however, guests find this too expensive and expect that the accommodation is flexible in this regard. Some accommodations are more flexible than others, as some think the traveler must be prepared before traveling. Travelling is no longer carefree and without risks and nobody can predict how the world will look like in the near future.  

Some accommodations offer their guests, who were unable to travel due to COVID, the possibility to change their booking till the end of 2021. People are still making use of this opportunity, which is the reason why many apartments are fully booked. However, unfortunately, these existent bookings don’t generate new revenue. It is clear that travelers are in need of a vacation. They spend more money on tours and trips and are eating out at restaurants and a lot more is possible, as the 12 o’clock curfew is not an obstacle anymore.

About CASHA

CASHA, the association for entrepreneurs with small businesses in the tourism sector is active again since 2020 and has 80 members including accommodations, car rental companies, dive schools, taxi and excursion companies and attractions. CASHA is active within different working groups e.g.: 1. Level playing field: creating a fair competition for all rentals, dive schools, car rental companies and attractions on Curaçao. 2. CASHA quality mark: the implementation of quality requirements. CASHA involves its members as much as possible in their activities.

Performance CHATA members

Looking at the larger hotels, the month of October also experienced an increase in numbers, compared to the month before and compared to 2019.

Curaçao had a hotel occupancy of 70,2% in the month October. Compared to last year (47,0%) this is an increase of 49,2%. Looking at the hotel occupancy of 2019, this is also a slight increase of 5,4%. The average daily rate was $185.66 in October 2021. Compared to the same month in 2020, this is an increase of 48,3% and compared to 2019 this is an increase of 31%. As for the revenue per available room, numbers indicate a significant increase of 121,3% in comparison with the year before. From $58.86 in 2020 to $130.27 this year. Also compared to 2019 (before COVID) this is an increase of 38%. The increase compared to 2019 appears to be a continued and structural trend since July of this year.

The table below is an overview of the STR numbers of the last two years:

October202120202021 vs. 202020192021 vs. 2019
Occ.70.2%47.0%+49.2%66.60%+5.4%
ADR$185.66$125.19+48.3%$141.69+31.0%
RevPAR$130.27$58.86+121.3%$94.40+38%

*Smith Travel Research (STR) is de leidende wereldwijde dienstverlener van benchmarking, informatievoorziening en onderzoek voor de hotel industrie.

CHATA is carefully optimistic for the coming high season and expects that for the remainder of the year the hotel occupancy is minimally similar to the 2019 numbers. “We expect an average occupancy of 70%, considering there are no drastic changes/measurements due to COVID”, according to CHATA.

Due to the pandemic and limitations in the last year and a half, the traveler has become more hesitant to book a holiday too far in advance. However, it is remarkable that tourist who visit our island are staying longer and spending more. The increasing daily rate and revenue per available room numbers are a clear reflection of this. “This is a positive trend”, according to CHATA. CHATA follows the developments closely and on a structural basis and provides support and advice when necessary to the government with the goal to recover and develop the sector as much as possible.

Additionally, it is remarkable how Curaçao has scored number one on the list in the month of October, as the island in the Caribbean with the highest occupancy rate.

American Tourists

Both associations are happy with the recent solution for vaccinated American tourists, who are now able to visit high risk events with their CDC (American RIVM) QR-code. Furthermore, the government announced that they are working on a solution for other non-European QR countries, making it possible for also these tourists to visit our island and eventually high-risk events with their vaccination proof. CHATA and CASHA continue to encourage their members to abide to the current measurements in order to keep the situation under control and keep growing the tourism sector in a safe way.

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