In the past year we have seen Curacao’s international fame explode with American and Canadian tourists. The share of international holidaymakers increased from 20% to 30% in 2022.
The hospitality sector is of course also seeing this trend and we see that American hotel chains Marriott and Hilton are fully exploiting the opportunities. The Pyrmont Hotel is being built in Pietermaai, which should be completed in the fourth quarter of 2025. The hotel has a total of 300 luxurious rooms. There are two monumental buildings on the site, in which 25 historic luxury suites will be realized and in this way these buildings will be fully integrated into the hotel concept. It is expected that this hotel will attract 30,000 international hotel guests per year to Curacao.
In addition, Corendon, in collaboration with Hilton, is realizing a new hotel called “The Riff” with 400 rooms, located next to the cruise terminal in Otrobanda, in the immediate vicinity of the Mangrove Beach Corendon Resort. The latter hotel is already mainly booked by guests from America. Both hotels are part of the partnership with Hilton and the new hotel will open its doors this year.
In addition, the renovated 350-room Marriott Beach Resort in Piscadera and the 351-room Sandals Resort in Santa Barbara, which opened last year, were already leading the way in attracting international, especially American, tourists.
In October 2022, Curacao passed a record number of 400,000 tourists, of which 20.4 percent came from the USA. If we add to this the occupancy of the three new hotels with a total of approximately 1,500 hotel rooms that are mainly occupied by American tourists, we can now assume that the trend already observed will develop more than exponentially in the next two years.
Where American tourists previously mainly went to Aruba, St Martin, Bahamas and BVI, they have clearly discovered Curacao. The development that Aruba saw in the 1980’s has now set in on Curacao. And where American tourists were particularly attracted when choosing their holiday destination by beautiful, idyllic, endless sandy beaches, an excellent level of service in restaurants and casinos, the preference for Curacao seems to be based on other preferences. Americans are fascinated by history and culture, values that have only recently been realized in their relatively young society, are being discovered on Curacao. As well as the unlimited urge for parties and entertainment associated with the Curaçao culture. In this last area, Curacao is unique within the Caribbean, if you also take the safety aspect into account. And safety is an extremely important priority for American tourists. In conclusion, Curacao offers a unique combination of factors that explain the sharply increasing American interest in the island and could well be the key to a tourist explosion that will put the island on the international map forever.