The number of people who visited and spent at least one night in Curaçao decreased by 5.6 percent in 2016 compared to 2015, numbers show.
While the island paradise welcomed more visitors from Europe, it saw fewer travelers from North America, South America and the Caribbean. Tourism officials say a decrease in the number of people visiting from nearby Venezuela is partly to blame for the overall decline.
Despite the decline in 2016, island officials are anticipating a 7.1 percent increase in the number of visitors in 2017 over 2016 and a nearly 10.7 increase in the number of visitors from 2015. They are pegging their hopes on a 13.9 percent increase in visitors from the United States — made possible as a result of increased seat capacity on American Airlines and JetBlue Airways flights.
Concurrently, officials are pursuing a flight from another U.S. market in a bid to attract more visitors. They are also looking to add flights to additional German and Brazilian markets in addition to adding capacity to Columbian flights.
Island officials also believe an agreement the government of Curaçao signed with Airbnb will help bring more tourists.