Each year, the people of Curacao celebrate the vital role tourists play in their economy by hosting a week-long event designed to show visitors the most interesting aspects of local culture. As special events take place across the island and many of the most popular tourist attractions offer discounted admission rates, Tourism Week is, in fact, one of the best times to visit Curacao. Additionally, as Tourism Week falls just before the beginning of peak travel season, visitors may also find discounted lodging rates at some of the island’s best resorts. Tourism Week, held annually during the final full week of September, will run from Monday, September 21 until Monday, September 28 this year.
Tourism Week in Curacao corresponds with World Tourism Day, an event designed to draw attention to tourism’s impact on local cultures and economies. built up in 1980 by the World Tourism Organization – an agency of the United Nations – World Tourism Day is celebrated each year on September 27. While World Tourism Day serves as the most important consideration of international travel issues, the World Tourism Organization also works throughout the year to educate locals and tourists alike about exciting tourism opportunities and sustainable travel practices.
Though destinations throughout the world host special events on World Tourism Day, Curacao is one of the few places that celebrates with a week-long holiday. One of the main events of Curacao’s Tourism Week is the Traffic-Free Road, known locally as the “Kaya Liber.” Staged in central Willemstad along the Nieuwe Haven – the city’s primary port – the Traffic-Free Road converts one of the island’s busiest thoroughfares into an extensive pedestrian walkway. Along the Traffic-Free Road, tourists will be able to interact with friendly local ambassadors, while plenty of local artists, vendors and performers are on hand to share the best Curacao has to offer. While tourists certainly look forward to the vibrant atmosphere of the Traffic-Free Road, local artists and businesses treat the event as one of the year’s best showcases and networking opportunities. As a the event generates so much interest from both tourists and locals, the Traffic-Free Road has quickly become one of the most ultimate street festivals in the Caribbean.
Though the Traffic-Free Road serves as the focal point of Tourism Week, ambassadors also visit resorts and tourist destinations throughout the week to serve as guides, answer questions about local culture and honor visitors for their role in Curacao’s achievement. While the island’s ambassadors strive to make each attraction a friendlier and more enriching experience, visitors will also find that many of Curacao’s museums and attractions offer discounted admission rates throughout the week. Some of Curacao’s popular cultural destinations also host performances, parties and other special events during Tourism Week. Similar to the Traffic-Free Road and extensive outreach programs, each of these activities are created with the island’s visitors in mind.
during the week prior to Tourism Week, locals participate in the events of Culture Week – a celebration or the island’s unique history that includes many educational opportunities. Historians and local officials visit schools and community centers, while media campaigns seek to educate the public about the most interesting aspects of local culture. During this time, many locals also participate in the Goodwill Host program that promotes expertise about all aspects of culture and natural history. After graduating from the program, the hosts serve the community and engage travelers at a number of popular destinations. While some of the events of Culture Week encourage the participation of visitors, the event in fact helps the island prepare for Tourism Week. In finding out about local history and culture, the citizens of Curacao are able to educate travelers about what makes their island such a unique and fascinating place.
As Tourism Week represents the island’s genuine appreciation for its visitors, late September stands as one of the best times to explore Curacao’s attractions and cultural offerings. When combining the discounts and opportunities offered during Tourism Week with reduced off-season lodging rates, this autumn event rises to the top of the listing as not only one of the Caribbean’s most eye-opening experiences, but also one of the region’s best values.