Cloose advocates joint tourism ventures

POSTED: 10/9/14 9:17 PM

GREAT BAY—St. Maartens’ tourism strategy to reinvent itself will be adopted by Curacao according to the marketing manager of the Curacao port authority Dimitri Cloose, who encourages joint tourism ventures among the islands.

Cloose is one of the hundreds of delegates from around the Caribbean currently on island for the FCCA cruise conference. He advocates tourism partnerships being formed by the surrounding islands to work to attract even more cruise lines to the various destinations and stressed that the message from St. Maarten to reinvent yourself, is a very important one which Curacao will also adopt. Curacao enjoyed almost 30 per cent increase in tourism growth in the past year recording an estimated 600,000 tourist visits to the island.

“No cruise line is going to come only to you,” Cloose noted. “It’s not enough to just be beautiful and expect tourists to come, you are just another destination and there are many. You have to offer incentives.”

The port Curacao marketing manager said the FCCA annual event is extremely important to tourism destinations because it provides the opportunity to socialize with the key players in the industry, including the officials from the surrounding islands and explained “it’s a lot more effective and personal than sending out emails. You get the opportunity to strengthen ties with the cruise lines and to foster bonds with the other islands.”

According to Cloose the islands must keep the momentum built from the conference and he anticipates that in the next five years all the islands are going to enjoy a boost in their tourism economy.  He acknowledged that it is more difficult for Curacao than it appears to be for St. Maarten to attract tourists, saying that Curacao is “deep south” while St. Maarten is “deep north.”  He is however confident that by offering the cruise lines attractive incentives, Curacao will continue to build its tourism sector. “You have to just do the best you can and offer as much as you can.”

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