Curaçao’s national carrier has announced additional seats into the country for next month’s Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO)’s State of the Industry Conference (SOTIC) scheduled for 21 to 23 October at the World Trade Center in Willemstad. InselAir has agreed to add capacity from St. Maarten and Trinidad into Curaçao on Monday 19 October and out of Curaçao on Saturday 24 October in order to facilitate travel for the region’s premier tourism event.

The airline’s chief executive officer Albert Kluyver said the conference is important for regional tourism, therefore the airline felt it necessary to help make it easier for delegates to attend.

“InselAir has always stressed the importance of working together with airports, governments and other parties to the benefit of the local economies and the development of tourism, on which most of the Caribbean countries rely. The SOTIC 2015 is a great opportunity to share insights, knowledge, trends, developments and address issues in order to constructively work together for the benefit of the industry and our countries,’ Mr. Kluyver said.

InselAir has had a good relationship with the CTO and has contributed to SOTIC in the past. The CTO’s secretary general Hugh Riley has welcomed the airline’s gesture, along with other developments which facilitate the process of getting to and from the conference.

“We are extremely happy that regional and international carriers have come together to make a way for people who are coming to the conference in Curacao to get there more efficiently, more conveniently and hopefully more cost effectively. Altogether we are all making a statement that it is important for the carriers to make sure that Caribbean people can travel around the region more efficiently for whatever reason – for vacations, for business, for conferences - we need to be able to travel and stay in the Caribbean when we are attending Caribbean events,” he said.

The regional carrier LIAT has brought forward its winter schedule to begin on 15 September, with a daily non-stop flight between Antigua and Puerto Rico, plus additional flights to Guyana via Trinidad, from where delegates can connect to Curaçao. In addition, JetBlue is offering 20 per cent discount on base fares for reservations made via phone for travel from any US airport from which it flies to Curacao, including Puerto Rico. Delegates can book by calling 888-538-2583 option 4.

These arrangements will make it easier for both delegates and companions to travel with SOTIC delegates. Curaçao has incorporated attractions, shopping and cultural heritage elements into a companion programme specially developed for this conference.

“As Minister of Economic Development and Tourism of Curaçao, I would like to invite you to come experience everything the Caribbean has to offer on one island. We speak Papiamentu, Dutch, English, and Spanish, and are very proud to have the most diversified culture in the Caribbean. Come experience for yourself, a different Dutch Caribbean,” said Minister Stanley Palm.

The CTO State of the Industry Conference is the pre-eminent tourism gathering in the region. It brings together tourism decision-makers, including ministers, commissioners and directors of tourism, hotel and airline executives, travel agents, students, the media and persons directly and indirectly involved in tourism. It is preceded by CTO business meetings, including meetings of the board of directors and the Council of Ministers and Commissioners of Tourism.

This year’s conference, which has as its theme, Caribbean Tourism: Growth Through Innovation, is organized in collaboration with Curaçao’s Ministry of Economic Development and the Curaçao Tourism Board, with support from the United Nations tourism agency, the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) and the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC). It will be held at the World Trade Center in Willemstad.