The year 2022 was a banner year for Curaçao tourism in spectacular fashion. For the first time in history, nearly half a million tourists came to the island! A total of 489,558 overnight tourists, to be precise. Interestingly, the year opened on a sour note with regard to this important economic pillar for the island, with travel restrictions imposed on Curaçao-bound flights from many key markets due to surging COVID-19 figures following the island’s then-recent exposure to the Omicron variant. Needless to say, Curaçao’s eventual 2022 stayover numbers paint a vivid picture of one of the Caribbean’s most remarkable post-pandemic bounceback stories.
The turnaround started to take shape in April, with the CTB already reporting great numbers from European markets and cruise ship visitors in May. Then came June, which shattered all prior records for North American visitors to Curaçao (this record was subsequently broken once more in December), and July, which saw the highest volume of visitors to the island during the entire year with 48,246 stayover arrivals. The year also registered record-breaking arrival numbers from the Netherlands.
But the success story does not end there, South American markets also generated visitor numbers that far exceeded projections last year. While Colombia, Brazil, and Suriname accounted for a large share of the 28,460 visitors from Curaçao’s southern neighbors, the end of the year also brought the island record-breaking arrivals from Argentina, Uruguay, and Ecuador. Of those three nations, Ecuador had the highest number of arrivals, with 3,986 stay-overs, most likely as a result of its increased connection to Curaçao. In addition, Curaçao received 29,818 stayover arrivals from Caribbean destinations.
The year ended with December arrival numbers that totaled 44,923 visitors, which represents a 101% recovery rate compared to December 2019.