Curaçao and ‘stir-crazy holidaymakers’


Sir, – I write to you from the island of Curaçao in response to Peter Cluskey’s article “Stir-crazy Dutch holidaymakers set to descend on Caribbean island” (World, November 24th).

There was no mention of the Handelskade, a Unesco heritage site, our rich culture, diverse population or stunning scenery. Instead, you chose to describe a brothel (which closed in March 2020) as if this were some kind of defining characteristic of the island.

Curaçao is a developed nation with a stable government and high living standards. Most of the tourists who visit here come for the stunning natural landscapes, to dive our unparalleled coral reefs, kitesurf, rock climb, or relax on the white-sand beaches.

The small number of 20-something Dutch partygoers who arrive each season are in a minority and the “open-all-hours” nightlife described in the article comes as news to me.

Curaçao has been gradually and cautiously reopening to tourists for several weeks now. We have a strong, competent team of medical professionals led by a distinguished epidemiologist, Dr Izzy Gerstenbluth, and people here are confident that the government is doing an excellent job in controlling and preventing the spread of the virus. Hotels, restaurants and tourist attractions have been briefed and trained in best practice to prevent the spread of the virus, social distancing is mandatory and everybody, Dutch people included, is conforming to social distancing regulations and wearing a mask in shops, supermarkets and indoor areas.

Perhaps when all this has passed, you might consider running a more positive article about our beautiful island. – Yours, etc,