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Tourism Development on Curaçao.

The Curaçao Tourism Development Foundation (CTDF) is a government-funded foundation. Its main responsibility as stated in its articles of incorporation is to develop the tourism industry and the execution of the tourism policy as established by the government. In order to achieve this objective the CTDF receives funding from the national government in the form of subsidy and is awarded the income derived from the collection of (hotel)room tax. This tax is levied through the CTDF and collected by the government.

The vision behind Curaçao’s tourism policy is to achieve sustainable socio-economic development for the nation and people of Curaçao. Based on that tenet, the CTDF has elaborated the following vision statement to set the direction for the Strategic Tourism Master Plan: "As the most diverse, safest and distinctive Caribbean destination, Curaçao aims to develop sustainable tourism for the socio-cultural, environmental and economic benefit of all, reflecting it’s unique heritage and traditional hospitality."

The island relies heavily on tourism for its economic growth. Tourism has outperformed all other sectors by a large margin, increasing its share of Gross Domestic Product from 10.9% in 2009 to 12.3% in 2011. For the past two years Curaçao has experienced growth in visitor arrivals, number of bed nights, as well as in cruise calls and cruise passenger arrivals.

In 2012, we saw a growth of 8% in overall stay-over visitors and a 15% increase in bed nights. The number of cruise visitors increased by 8% compared to 2011. In addition to this, we have increased the awareness for Curaçao by producing over 4.6 billion impressions through effective media management and over 120,000 followers through social media strategies.
The coming years will prove to be challenging due to many factors affecting our key target country markets on both a political and economical level. In addition to this, we are observing shifts in demand for accommodation and travel destinations. Although we foresee a continuous growth in stay-over visitors as part of an established trend, we will be closely monitoring the ability of other islands in the Caribbean to continue attracting a massive number of tourists due to their competitive product infrastructure and pricing, brand awareness and superior airlift access.

To overcome these challenges, the Curaçao Tourism Development Foundation has been given the task of bringing together public and private sector interests to align common objectives and marketing plans. The mission of the CTDF is to design - together with private sector stakeholders - a strategic marketing direction that aims to clearly differentiate the island of Curaçao from other tourist destinations in the Caribbean. To achieve this, we have reached the conclusion that we must initiate a process of product differentiation and focus on those product attributes that add value to our offering. We have identified those unique product attributes and made them into our brand pillars:

Arts & Entertainment

As a supporter of the arts, the island serves as a stage for global, local and emerging performers and artists. It provides experiences wrapped around music, art and entertainment for all types of visitors. Curaçao aims to become known as "the stage of the Caribbean".
Variety of Activities

Offering a wide range of under water, on water and on land activities, there is something for everyone in Curaçao. From going 400ft under water with the substation to the about to be launched space tourism project, Curaçao has no limit to the kind of activities it can offer.

Cultural Heritage

Curaçao is genuinely authentic. Our historical rich heritage is full of one of a kind island and city experiences influenced by the African, Dutch, South American and Caribbean cultures.

Cosmo / Tropical

There is diversity in terrain and environment. Curaçao has natural and secluded beaches, rugged green hills, arid dessert coastlines, crystal blue waters and a city centre inspired by European cities.


With a bustling business center, Curaçao is a progressive island nation attracted to innovative ideas and fostering the entrepreneurial spirit of its people. We want the world to know that Curaçao means business.
We will market Curaçao to the Cultural Explorers organization and attract visitors who want more than just sun, sea and beaches from a Caribbean vacation. Part of this vision for tourism is the mission to attract not only the monetary contributions that tourists bring to the island, but also to import their knowledge, entrepreneurial spirit, curiosity for culture and the desire to learn more about the opportunities that Curaçao has to offer.

Although we are confident about the new marketing strategy and brand positioning, we are aware that it will take more than smart marketing to achieve our growth objectives. It will require building and maintaining strong partnerships and alignments with the public and private sectors, as well as with other local and international stakeholders.

Ghatim Kabbara
CEO Curaçao Tourism Development Foundation