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Monday,  July 22, 2024   5:01 PM
Curaçao celebrates new AC rouge service

The Curaçao Tourist Board and Air Canada Vacations has wrapped up a series of Canadian dates showcasing expanded travel opportunities in one of the Caribbean’s top emerging tourism hotspots.

The destination has been enjoying a high profile this week, with the tourist board hosting several events promoting the island to the Canadian travel trade. The latest presentation marked the first departure of the new year-round Air Canada rouge service to the island, flying directly from Toronto to the island every Thursday. Representatives from four resorts were also on hand, including Acoya, Renaissance Curaçao Resort & Casino, Marriott Curaçao Emerald Casino and Sunscape Curaçao.

André Rojer, marketing manager - North America, Curaçao Tourist BoardKrista Cardona and Christine Faulkner of Air Canada Vacations told PAX that the new service follows increasing demand for travel to Curaçao, which they described as a “hidden gem” for Canadian travellers looking for an alternative to more popular Caribbean destinations. To get more travellers to the destination, connections to YYZ will be offered from 66 gateways across Canada. A non-stop flight from Montreal is also offered during winter, Cardona said.

“We’re so excited to partner with them to work year round,” Faulkner said. “It’s an exciting destination with all the culture and history and very unique in its own right. We’re hoping to get these planes full and going.”

Currently, 14 properties in Curaçao are offered through Air Canada Vacations, ranging from boutique spas to all-inclusive resorts, Cardona added.

According to André Rojer and Chandra Smouse of the Curaçao Tourist Board, the island provides equal opportunities for relaxation and excitement. While beaches draw many travellers looking for a sun escape, Curaçao’s reputation as a scuba diving hotspot – combined with activities such as Jeep and ATV adventures along the rocky eastern coast – attracts more adventurous travellers, particularly Canadians, Rojer said. The island also boasts a packed schedule of annual events, including cultural displays such as Carnival to jazz, blues and electronic music festivals.

“We feel Curaçao is a unique island - the other islands have sun, sea and sun but we feel we have more to offer,” Smouse told PAX.

More about Curaçao

- Thanks to geography, Curaçao is located outside of the seasonal hurricane belt.

- Curaçao is active in welcoming the LGBT travel market with events such as the Curaçao Pride festival, taking place Sept. 31 to Oct. 4 this year.

- Due to the island’s Dutch heritage, the capital city of Willemstad boasts a European urban design and features many pedestrian-only streets, allowing for further exploration by foot.

PHOTO: Christine Faulkner, national sales support, Air Canada Vacations; Chandra Smouse, industry liaison - North America, Curaçao Tourist Board; Krista Cardona, area sales manager, Air Canada Vacations.

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