CTB reports another month recording double-digit growth in stayover visitor arrivals. The latest tourism statistics show an increase of 16% in stayover visitors for May 2019. With 36,385 stayover arrivals, there were 4,955 more visitors than was recorded in May 2018.
Our main producing country, The Netherlands, recorded 13% more stayover visitors in May. In total 15,711 stayover visitors were welcomed. Germany performed well recording 2% more visitors at the start of the slow season. The seasonal flight from Frankfurt with Condor ended in April and will resume on November 3rd 2019. Meanwhile Europe as a whole had a 13%increase producing 19,065 visitors in May.
The North American market fell short by 6% in May 2019. The downturn in arrivals from North America is mainly because of less seat capacity from Canada and the USA when comparing the capacity with last year. We welcomed in total 6,629 North American visitors in May.
The South American region continues to flourish with a reported increase of 52% in May 2019. Additional airlift has played an integral role in the positive numbers. On April 11, Wingo launched twice-weekly service from Bogota to Curaçao, while Avianca operated four additional weekly flights from Bogota this year compared to last year. COPA Airlines is also operating seven weekly flights to Curaçao from Panama, compared to four flights in 2018. Together these moves boosted stayover arrivals from Colombia and Brazil. Colombia with 2,586 visitors registered an increase of 129% stayover visitors, at the same time traffic from Brazil grew by 24%, registering 945 Brazilian visitors.
The Caribbean region grew by 34% in May. We welcomed 3,395 stayover visitors out of the region. Aruba recorded 27% growth, which in absolute numbers is 1,344 visitors.
The overall visitor nights grew by 10% in May 2019. In total 303 thousand visitor nights are registered. Out of Europe, tourists spent 197 thousand nights in Curaçao, a 10% increase. Both North and South American visitors spent 42 thousand visitor nights in May. Visitors from the Caribbean region spent 17 thousand nights in Curaçao.
Year to date: January through May 2019
Stayover visitor arrivals grew by 17% in the first five months of 2019. All reporting regions grew year to date. In total 203 thousand visitors are registered from January through May 2019. Out of Europe, we welcomed 106 thousand tourists in Curaçao, a 12% increase. From North and South America, we welcomed 48 and 30 thousand visitors respectively. The North American region grew by 14%, traffic from the South American region increased by 35%. Our neighboring islands from the Caribbean provided 13 thousand visitors during this period, a 14% growth.