Thursday , June 1 2023
Home / World Tourism / TravelPulse Q&A: One on One with Curaçao

TravelPulse Q&A: One on One with Curaçao

Paul Pennicook, now in his second year as the Curaçao Tourist Board (CTB)’s CEO, is among Caribbean tourism’s most experienced marketers. Pennicook previously served as Jamaica’s director of tourism between 2003 and 2006, returning to the post from 2014 to 2017.

The Jamaican native also served as the county’s director of tourism twice and held senior management positions with Jamaica’s SuperClubs and Sandals Resorts International. In addition, Pennicook served as president and CEO of Couples Resorts and directed marketing and sales activities at Air Jamaica.

Pennicook is a Cornell University graduate with a degree in hotel management. Fluent in English and Spanish, his skills and experience have been widely recognized. During his tenure, Jamaica Tourist Board officials cited Pennicook for modernizing the organization’s operations and “deepening the partnership with industry players.”

“We view travel agents as being an integral part of the travel distribution system,” said Paul Pennicook, CEO of the Curacao Tourist Board.(Photo by Brian Major).

Pennicook has performed similarly in Curaçao, where his leadership has helped the destination to post a 10 percent increase in North American arrivals from May of 2017 to May of 2018 and strong first-half 2019 visitor arrivals.

Pennicook spoke this week with TravelPulse to discuss his plans following his departure from an office that he has now held on three separate occasions.

TP: Curaçao has enjoyed strong land-based and cruise ship visitor arrivals during the winter season of 2019 after a positive 2018. To what do you attribute this growth?

PP: We attribute this growth to a number of factors [including] more focused effort on the core mission of CTB that of marketing the destination, increased airlift from major markets, and the launch of an effective branding campaign

TP: Do you feel Curaçao is somewhat under-the-radar compared with other Caribbean destinations? If so, what are doing to market the island to a wider group of travelers?

PP: Curacao has been somewhat under the radar in the North American market. We are working diligently to extend our branding campaign all across North America. In addition, we are intensifying our travel agent education program.

TP: What are your goals for tourism in Curaçao under the national tourism plan, and how will you work to formulate and implement initiatives under the plan?

PP: The primary goals under the Tourism Master Plan are to make Curacao stand out as a destination in the major markets by capitalizing on its unique attributes and to re-focus the demand structure by aggressively pursuing the North American and South American markets.

TP: What country is the island’s largest market and what other counties are target audiences for Curaçao?

PP: For 2018 the top markets in descending order are The Netherlands, the U.S.A., Colombia, Canada, and Germany.

TP: You are one of the top Caribbean tourism marketers in the world. How has your experience helped you create success in this position?

PP: My past experience as a hotelier an airline executive and a destination marketing executive on more than one occasion, have been extremely helpful in my present position.

TP: How do Curaçao’s tourism officials view travel agent in terms of the country’s tourism success and how does the destination work with travel agents?

PP: We view travel agents as being an integral part of the travel distribution system. We are embarking on initiatives such as increased familiarization trips and increase travel agent education, both of which demonstrate how much we value travel agents.

TP: What, in your own words, are the top attractions that first-time visitors to Curaçao should look forward to enjoying?

PP: For first-time visitors to the island, I would strongly recommend coming to Punda Vibes on a Thursday night in Punda, the downtown area. The whole atmosphere and the “vibe” is just unbeatable. It is something you do not ordinarily find in the Caribbean.

You can read more of the news on source